Breastfeeding-Friendly Physician's Office-Optimizing Care for Infants and Children

Publication Date: March 5, 2021
Last Updated: March 14, 2022

1. Establish a written breastfeeding-friendly office policy.

Collaborate with colleagues and office staff during policy development and inform all new staff about the policy. Provide copies of your practice policy to hospitals, physicians, and all health care professionals covering your practice for you, including other physicians, nurses, midwives, lactation consultants, and support staff in the office.

2. Educate all office staff on breastfeeding support skills and implement the skills with patients.

  • a. Educate nursing and support staff (front office staff, medical assistants, pharmacists, etc.) in the office on the benefits of breastfeeding and train them on skills necessary to support breastfeeding, including initiation of breastfeeding, troubleshooting common breastfeeding problems, and responsive baby feeding, according to their role in serving the breastfeeding mother. Consider utilizing Baby friendly hospital initiative training course for maternity staff of the WHO/UNICEF training courses, which is accessible from the WHO website.

  • b. Assess breastfeeding at the initial prenatal visit as well as subsequent visits with the obstetrician. Also assess breastfeeding at the initial infant pediatric visit and as needed at subsequent visits at least up to and including 6 months. All physician office practices should provide mothers with skilled lactation support to assess adequacy of feeding and maintenance of exclusive breastfeeding, especially in the early days/weeks after birth. If feasible, consider employing an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) or establishing a relationship with recommended local IBCLCs to whom you can refer patients. (III) In addition, experienced breastfeeding peer support personnel can be utilized.7 Offer culturally inclusive and ethnically competent care, understanding that families may follow cultural practices regarding the discarding of colostrum, maternal diet during lactation, and early introduction of solid foods. Provide access to multilingual staff, medical interpreters, and ethnically diverse educational material as needed within your practice. (III)

Overview

Title

Breastfeeding-Friendly Physician’s Office—Optimizing Care for Infants and Children

Authoring Organization