International training means midwifery students ‘stand to deliver’ excellent care

Date 18.06.2019

Midwifery students received welcome news this week after an international training standard administered at the University received a glowing commendation from assessors.

Last week – as part of their three-yearly inspections – members of UNICEF visited the University to assess the provision of Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) training at Waterside and met midwifery team members and students who have just completed their degree courses.

University of Northampton is one of 24 midwifery programmes in the UK to offer BFI training to students and the assessors commented that the training here was “superb and excellent.”

They subsequently reaccredited BFI here, meaning midwifery students at Northampton will continue to gain extra skills that will enhance their employability and the care they give.

The initiative was developed by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation. The aim is to provide training for health professionals to support parents to breastfeed their babies where possible, extend the period they breastfeed and to provide parents who choose formula feeding with information about the most appropriate and up to date formula feeding practices

Although BFI is primarily concerned with babies’ nutrition, the initiative also promotes bonding between mothers and babies that can positively impact on a child’s brain development to give them the best possible start in life.

Hollie Rossiter, midwifery student, added: “BFI accreditation raises the profile for the University’s midwifery course and we have received exceptional training throughout.

“This means we can implement these standards in clinical practice, enabling women and babies to receive high quality advice and support and increase their knowledge base, practical skills, and confidence levels.

“It also ensures that students meet the NMC skills cluster for student midwives in education.”

Mary Huntley, Senior Lecturer in Midwifery and the University’s BFI lead, said: “Having achieved a very high standard of reaccreditation is really positive for midwifery.

“Parents know that the months during pregnancy and just after birth are so precious and intimate, when parents are bonding and building a relationship with their baby.

“Our students can give evidence-based, relevant, up-to-the-minute information about how best to nourish and connect with their babies, by providing mother centred care and promoting responsive feeding for all mothers, thereby building happy families for the future.

“At University of Northampton, our continued accreditation from UNICEF means that the education given to midwifery students to provide excellent care to all groups of parents has been recognised at the highest level.”

Do you want to study midwifery at University of Northampton? See the course page for more detail.

Find out more about BFI.