The Julie Crawford Award for Breastfeeding Support for 2017 has been won by Bernadette (Bernie) Wood, a Health Visitor from Suffolk County Council’s Children’s and Young Peoples Services.

She was presented the Award today on behalf of the Baby Feeding Law Group (BFLG) by Allan Cadzow, Service Director for Children and Young People at the CYP Health ‘Looking to the Future’ Conference’. Click here for the press release.

Acceptance Speech

It is with great pleasure I accept this Julie Crawford award from Baby Milk Action and the Baby Feeding Law Group.

It is a huge surprise to me as this sort of thing happens to other people!

I believe one person can make a difference.

Where something is not right we all have a responsibility to speak out.

By writing to one’s MP about important issues (such as the WHO code and babymilk marketing) and using social media to address issues and access petitions. By using email and writing letters and networking, one person CAN make a difference and change ideas. We are all just one person. If we all speak out about things which need to change, amazing things will happen.

As health visitors we work within the 4 domains of the SCPHN [Specialist Community Public Health Nursing].

  • we search for health needs (like the threat to maternal and child health from normalising formula milks);
  • we raise awareness of health needs (eg.of the need to normalise breast feeding for all its benefits);
  • we campaign for changes in health policy change through networking, letters, writing to journals and other media;
  • And we facilitate health-enhancing activities (eg ensuring families can access evidence based support for successful breast feeding for as long as possible).

This award is a welcome affirmation to spur me on to further effort in ‘just doing the day job’, which admittedly does encroach into personal time.

A recent survey by EADT showed that parents choose to breast feed predominantly on the advice of a professional but also for reasons of cost and convenience. Bottom of the list of stated reasons however is the health benefits to mum and baby. I believe we have a lot to do in promoting this information so parents can make truly informed choices.

The role of SCPHN Health Visiting is Not about a single issue, but achieving better breastfeeding rates will reduce morbidity (and mortality) and improve health outcomes and school readiness, so making financial savings for businesses, families and health and social services.

I would like to thank Suffolk County Council for its Commitment to the work of health visiting teams at all the five mandated visits and their wider remit.

Developmental reviews are such an important opportunity to ensure best health outcomes across the board from: dental and maternal mental health, parenting and attachment, to  reduction of obesity, improved diet, and acheiving school readiness to name a few.

These are the planned outcomes of the healthy child programme which we deliver from nought to 5 years.

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