|Title:||Baby Friendly Health Initiative: hospital breastfeeding policy|
|Document ID:||Operational Directive OD 0211/09|
|Date of issue:||Wednesday, 29 July 2009|
|Status:||NO LONGER APPLICABLE|
|Description:||Baby Friendly Health Initiative - hospital breastfeeding 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:||All Western Australian hospitals with maternity facilities providing care to mothers and babies.|
|Period of effect:||from 1 August 2009 to 1 August 2012|
|Authorised by:||Dr Peter Flett, DIRECTOR GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH WA, 10-Jun-2009|
|Print version:||View print version|
Baby Friendly Health Initiative: hospital breastfeeding policy
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” which 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 Newborns 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.
Dr Peter Flett
This circular last updated: Tuesday, 28 July 2009 at 2:21pm