|Title:||Baby Friendly Health Initiative Ė Hospital breastfeeding policy 2014|
|Document ID:||Operational Directive OD 0551/14|
|Date of issue:||Wednesday, 27 August 2014|
|Description:||Baby Friendly Health Initiative - Hospital breastfeeding policy is a statewide policy for hospitals with maternity facilities in Western Australia. The aim of the policy is to encourage, promote and support exclusive breastfeeding in hospitals with maternity facilities.|
|Applicable to:||WA Health|
|Period of effect:||from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2019|
|Review date:||1 January 2017|
|Authorised by:||Professor Bryant Stokes, A/Director General, Department of Health WA, 11-Jul-2014|
|Print version:||View print version|
Baby Friendly Health Initiative Ė Hospital breastfeeding policy 2014
The Baby Friendly Health Initiative- hospital breastfeeding policy promotes, supports and encourages breastfeeding as the optimal way for a woman to feed her baby. WA Health acknowledges that breastfeeding offers important health benefits for both the mother and child. WA Health recognises and supports the importance of creating and delivering a health care environment in hospitals with maternity facilities where breastfeeding is, encouraged, promoted and supported by all staff to parents.
All WA Health staff are required to adhere to the Baby Friendly Health Initiative - hospital breastfeeding policy to avoid conflicting advice. WA Health hospitals with maternity facilities should follow and appropriately educate and train all staff on the global breastfeeding initiative known as the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding”. This initiative is stated in the Baby Friendly Health Initiative hospital breastfeeding policy and was founded by the World Health Organisation (WHO)/ United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Any deviation from the policy must be justified and recorded as a variance of care in the mother’s and/or baby’s health care record.
The policy is directed to mothers of healthy babies born at term. If a baby is unwell or pre-term it may require more flexible practices in relation to feeding. It is the responsibility of all health professionals to liaise with the baby’s medical attendants (paediatrician, general practitioner) should concerns arise about the baby’s health.
WA Health staff should not discriminate against any woman in her chosen method of infant feeding and should fully support her when she has made that choice. The policy recognises that all mothers have the right to receive clear and impartial information to enable them to make a fully informed choice as to how they feed and care for their babies after birth. Mothers should be supported to feed their infants in all areas of the hospital. Signs should be displayed throughout the hospital informing all staff and parents that breastfeeding is welcome.
The Baby Friendly Health Initiative - hospital breastfeeding policy should be used by all health staff in conjunction with both the Women and Newborn Health Service clinical guidelines for newborn feeding and the WA Health Baby Friendly Health Initiative - hospital breastfeeding policy: Information flyer (no date) to provide further information and education for health professionals at hospitals with maternity facilities in WA.
This policy has been updated to reflect current breastfeeding reports and provide a link to the promotional resources for ten steps to successful breastfeeding. This policy complements the:
Professor Bryant Stokes
This circular last updated: Wednesday, 27 August 2014 at 1:41pm