DUDLEY health experts have been recognised nationally for their efforts to encourage more new mums to breastfeed.

The Black Country Partnership Foundation Trust and children’s centres – led by Dudley Council’s office of public health – have been awarded the prestigious UNICEF UK stage three Baby Friendly Award.

The award encourages organisations to do as much as they can to help women breastfeed their babied and strengthen mother-baby and family relationships.

A breastfeeding volunteer buddy scheme, training health professionals in breastfeeding management and maternity infant feeding assistants being introduced at Russell’s Hall Hospital have all contributed towards the award success.

Councillor Rachel Harris, cabinet member for health and wellbeing said: “This is a significant award from UNICEF, which Dudley has achieved thanks to a great deal of enthusiasm and commitment from health workers who are passionate about helping new mums understand the many benefits of breastfeeding.

“Breastfeeding is one of the best ways to give babies the best start in life. It protects against childhood diseases, helps children stay a healthy weight and can last the rest of a child’s life.

“Most mothers want to breastfeed but don’t always get the support they need. This award recognises the help and support new mums will receive in Dudley.”

The award also recognises the cafes, restaurants, libraries and other commercial establishments across the borough which have gained the Dudley Breastfeeding Welcome Award, offering areas that are happy for women to breastfeed, as well as provide access to baby changing facilities.

Representatives from the health visiting service, Dudley Council’s children’s services and office of public health will be presented with the award by the Mayor of Dudley, Councillor Steve Waltho, at the full council meeting on Monday (July 13).