Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care providers and volunteers.
“All Canadian BFI hospitals and facilities have a policy which is in conformity with the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada requirements as stated in Appendix 1, Policy Checklist found in the BCC BFI Practice Outcome Indicators for Hospitals and Community Health Services”
What is an infant feeding policy?
A written statement that identifies what a facility (or a province) commits to provide for care:
A) To promote, protect, and support breastfeeding according to the BCC BFI Integrated 10 Steps Practice Outcome Indicators for Hospitals and Community Health Services: Summary
B) Identifies policies and practices that support non-breastfeeding mothers
C) Identifies practices that reflect compliance with “The WHO Code”
Why is an infant feeding policy important?
To assure care provided is supported by clinical and community health practices reflecting current evidence- based standards.
According to WHO (1989, 2009)
- To help establish consistent care for mothers and babies
- To require a course of action
- To provide guidance
- To provide a standard of care that can be evaluated
Breastfeeding Committee for Canada requirements for an Infant Feeding Policy:
- Approved at the highest management level for the facility (or the province)
- Dated and with someone (a position, not a person) clearly made responsible for its’ implementation and evaluation
- Provides care consistent with The 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, and protects breastfeeding by adhering to The WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (Who Code) and the relevant, subsequent WHA Resolutions
- Shows evidence that the policy development process is multidisciplinary with representation by all the stakeholders.
- Shows evidence of support for staff who are breastfeeding
- Is available to whomever requests a copy
- Is known by all staff, health care providers, and volunteers.
Posted Summary of the Policy:
- Conveys a clear message to the population it serves
- Is clearly visible in all areas which serve pregnant women, mothers, infants and/or children
- Is available in languages and wording commonly understood by local populations.
For more detailed information: www.breastfeedingcanada.ca