Joint Breastfeeding Policy

Please click here for the JOINT BREASTFEEDING POLICY for Ashton, Leigh & Wigan Community Health Care, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust and Children Centres

PRINCIPLES 

Ashton, Leigh and Wigan Community Health Care, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust and Children’s Centres believe that breastfeeding is the healthiest way for a woman to feed her baby and recognises the important health benefits known to exist for both the mother and her child.

All mothers have the right to make a fully informed choice as to how they feed and care for their babies.  The provision of clear and impartial information to all mothers at an appropriate time is therefore essential.

Health care staff will not discriminate against any woman in her chosen method of infant feeding and will fully support her when she has made that choice.  This policy is designed to ensure good professional practice, not to dictate the choices of mothers.

AIMS

To ensure that the health benefits of breastfeeding and the potential health risks of formula feeding are discussed with all women and their families as appropriate, so that they can make an informed choice about how they will feed their babies.

To create an environment where more women choose to breastfeed their babies, and where more women are given sufficient information and support to enable them to breastfeed exclusively for at least 6 months (and preferably up to 12 months), and then as part of their infant’s diet for as long as they both wish.

To train all health care staff who have contact with breastfeeding women to provide full and competent support in all aspects of breastfeeding management.

To encourage liaison with other health care professionals thereby delivering a seamless service, together with the development of a breastfeeding culture throughout the local community.

 IN SUPPORT OF THIS POLICY

Ashton Leigh and Wigan Primary Care Trust and Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust and Children’s Centres will ensure that all staff adhere to this policy to avoid conflicting advice.  Any deviation from the policy is to be recorded in the mother’s and/or baby’s health care records.

It is the responsibility of all health care professionals to liaise with other appropriate persons should concerns arise about the baby’s health.

Guidelines for the support of breastfeeding in special situations and the management of common complications including neonatal jaundice will be drawn up and agreed by a multi-disciplinary team of professionals with clinical responsibility for the care of mothers and babies.

The policy and guidelines will be reviewed annually and will be audited within the Clinical Governance Framework.

No overt advertising of Infant Formula, feeding bottles, teats or dummies is acceptable in these Trusts or on their premises.  The display of manufacturers logos of these products and also breast milk substitutes on such items as calendars and stationery is not allowed. No Breastmilk substitutes will be sold on any Trust or Children’s Centre premises or by any members of their staff.

Parents who have made a fully informed choice to feed their babies artificially should be shown how to prepare formula feeds correctly, either individually or in small groups, in the post natal period.  No routine group instruction on the preparation of artificial feeds will be given in the antenatal period, as this has the potential to undermine confidence in breastfeeding.

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