Baby-Friendly Organization

Policy

Category: General Agency
Subject: Baby-Friendly Organization
Division: Family Health
Policy Number: CA.50.01.302
Effective Date: September 14, 2016

POLICY STATEMENT

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) recognizes that breastfeeding is the natural way of providing infants with the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development. Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended until six months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods to two years of age or beyond (World Health Organization, 2012).

WDGPH supports the right of all individuals to make an informed decision about their method of infant feeding and will support the decision that is made.

WDGPH meets the standards of the Baby-Friendly™ designation.

This policy will be available, upon request, for review by any member of the public. An interpretative document for members of the public (Baby-Friendly Policy: Parents’ Guide), shall be available in public areas of the organization. 

SCOPE

This policy applies to all employees of WDGPH including volunteers, students and contractual.

REFERENCES AND RELATED FORMS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Corresponding Procedure:  CA.50.02.302  Baby-Friendly Organization
Baby-Friendly Policy: Parents’ Guide

CONTACT FOR INQUIRIES

Director, Family Health

APPROVED BY

Medical Officer of Health 

 


Procedure

Category: General Agency
Subject: Baby-Friendly Organization
Division: Family Health
Procedure Number: CA.50.02.302
Effective Date: September 14, 2016

PROCEDURE

WDGPH will follow the Baby-Friendly Initiative Integrated 10 Steps Practice Outcome Indicators for Hospitals and Community Health Services (Breastfeeding Committee for Canada, 2012) as follows:

Step 1: Have a written breastfeeding policy that is annually communicated to all employees, students and volunteers.

All employees, students and volunteers will be informed about the policy CA.50.01.302 and procedure CA.50.02.302 Baby-Friendly Organization, and its implications as part of the orientation process. Mandatory Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI) orientation for new employees, students and volunteers includes completion of the Baby-Friendly 101 Course and a review of the Baby-Friendly Organization policy and procedure within six months of hire. All employees, students and volunteers will be reoriented to the Baby-Friendly Organization policy and procedure annually through mandatory policy review and sign off. Board of Health (BOH) members will receive an annual orientation to BFI and the Baby-Friendly Organization policy and procedure through a presentation or report at a BOH meeting.

This policy will be reviewed annually by the employees responsible for the Baby-Friendly Initiative. Community partners may need to be consulted in the annual policy review. Any proposed revisions will be brought to the attention of the Director, Family Health for review and approval. Any non-compliance with this policy by employees, volunteers or students will be brought to the attention of the appropriate Manager.

The Baby-Friendly Policy: Parents’ Guide will be displayed in all public areas where community health services are provided. This includes WDGPH offices in Guelph (Chancellors Way and Shelldale), Fergus, Mount Forest, Orangeville and Shelburne.

Step 2: Ensure all employees involved in the care of mothers and babies have the knowledge and skills necessary to implement the policy.

All employees having contact with pregnant women and mothers will receive breastfeeding education at a level appropriate to their role. All public health nurses (PHNs) in the Family Health Division will receive an 18-hour education program as early in their employment as deemed possible. In addition, it is a requirement for all PHNs in the Family Health Division to obtain Level 2 Breastfeeding and refresh it every five years. Employees in these programs may also participate in ongoing breastfeeding educational opportunities as approved by their manager/supervisor. All new PHNs in the Family Health Division will work through a breastfeeding orientation pathway and will work with their manager/supervisor to arrange the required clinical supervision and performance evaluation as part of this orientation.

Step 3: Inform pregnant women and their families about the importance and process of breastfeeding.

Prenatal education will include information to help women and their families make an informed decision about infant feeding. The importance of skin-to-skin contact, the basics of breastfeeding management and the common experiences they may encounter will also be included. The goal is to give women confidence in their ability to breastfeed.

Step 4: Place babies in uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact with their mothers immediately following birth for at least an hour or until completion of the first feeding or as long as the mother wishes: encourage mothers to recognize when their babies are ready to feed, offering help as needed.

The importance of skin-to-skin contact is a part of the curriculum for WDGPH prenatal classes and is further encouraged at breastfeeding clinics, home visits, and telephone calls to new parents. Further information is provided on the WDGPH website.

Step 5: Assist mothers to breastfeed and maintain lactation should they face challenges including separation from their infants.

Prenatally and in the postpartum period, mothers will be taught how to express their milk and to safely store expressed breastmilk. Employees of the Family Health Division are responsible for the delivery of services to women experiencing breastfeeding challenges and are the point of referral for clients who seek support. Mothers are supported over the phone, in breastfeeding clinics, and during home visits.

Step 6: Support mothers to establish and maintain exclusive breastfeeding to six months, unless supplements are medically indicated.

Prenatal education and postnatal follow-up will support evidence-based practices that are known to facilitate the initiation and establishment of exclusive breastfeeding for six months. All mothers, who accept a referral, will be contacted by a PHN following discharge from hospital and will have the opportunity for early assessment of breastfeeding. Information on how to access community-based breastfeeding support will be provided to all mothers.

WDGPH will support families who make an informed decision to use a breastmilk substitute (i.e. formula), including the provision of information about how to safely prepare and store formula. This information will be provided on an individual basis as needed with clients and will be posted on the WDGPH website.

Step 7: Facilitate 24 hour rooming-in for all mother-infant dyads: mothers and infants remain together.

The significance of rooming-in will be included in WDGPH prenatal classes and in My Breastfeeding Plan, which will be given to women prenatally through WDGPH and primary healthcare providers in the community.

Step 8: Encourage baby-led or cue-based breastfeeding. Encourage sustained breastfeeding beyond six months with appropriate introduction of complementary foods at six months.

Prenatal education and postnatal follow-up by PHN will reflect these goals. Parents will also be informed about their right to have accommodations in the workplace that support and sustain breastfeeding. Mothers are welcome to breastfeed in public areas of all locations of WDGPH.  WDGPH will endeavour to provide an appropriate space for breastfeeding or expressing breastmilk if privacy is requested.

WDGPH supports the right of all individuals to make an informed decision about their method of infant feeding and will support the decision that is made. WDGPH promotes and supports breastfeeding and the expression of breastmilk on its premises by employees, volunteers, students and visitors. WDGPH further supports employees’ continuation of infant feeding and expression of breastmilk upon their return to work from a parental leave, as outlined in policy CA.50.01.303 Infant Feeding in the Workplace.

Step 9: Support mothers to feed and care for their breastfeeding babies without the use of artificial teats or pacifiers.

Mothers of breastfeeding infants are supported to find alternative solutions or make an informed decision regarding the use of artificial teats or pacifiers.

Step 10: Provide a seamless transition between the services provided by the hospital, community health services and peer support programs.  Apply principles of Primary Health Care and Population Health to support the continuum of care and implement strategies that affect the broad determinants that will improve breastfeeding outcomes.

A formal system for communicating a mother’s breastfeeding progress from hospital to the community through the Family Health Division is in place through the Healthy Babies, Healthy Children Screen. Collaboration between public health, healthcare staff, breastfeeding support groups and the local community is accomplished through partnerships with hospitals, Community Health Centres, Family Health Teams, Midwifery Practices, and LaLeche League Canada. Collaboration is demonstrated through involvement in local breastfeeding networks in Guelph, Wellington and Dufferin.

WDGPH will follow the World Health Organization (WHO/UNICEF, 1981) International Code of Marketing of Breast milk Substitutes:

  • No advertising of artificial feeding products to the public;
  • No free samples to mothers;
  • No promotion of artificial feeding products in healthcare facilities, including the distribution of free or low-cost supplies;
  • No company representatives to advise mothers;
  • No gifts of personal samples to health workers;
  • No words or pictures idealizing artificial feeding, including pictures of infants, on the labels of products;
  • Information to health workers should be scientific and factual;
  • All information on artificial infant feeding, including the labels, should explain the benefits of breastfeeding and all costs and hazards associated with artificial feeding;
  • Unsuitable products, such as sweetened condensed milk, should not be promoted for babies; and
  • All products should be of high quality and take account of the climate and storage conditions of the country where they are used.

REFERENCES AND RELATED FORMS, POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

Corresponding Policy:  CA.50.01.302 Baby-Friendly Organization
CA.50.01.303 Infant Feeding in the Workplace
Baby-Friendly Initiative Integrated 10 Steps Practice Outcome Indicators for Hospitals and Community Health Services (Breastfeeding Committee for Canada, 2012)
Baby-Friendly Policy: Parents’ Guide
World Health Organization (WHO/UNICEF, 1981) International Code of Marketing of Breast milk Substitutes

CONTACT FOR INQUIRIES

Director, Family Health

APPROVED BY

Medical Officer of Health