Below are some examples of recommendations from the ABM Protocol #14 that you can implement to support breastfeeding mothers in your practice:
Establish a written breastfeeding-friendly office policy.
Offer culturally and ethnically competent care.
Show support for breastfeeding during hospital rounds.
Counsel mothers to follow their infant’s states of alertness as they relate to hunger and satiety cues and ensure that the infant breastfeeds eight to 12 times in 24 hours.
Encourage breastfeeding mothers to feed newborns only human milk and to avoid offering supplemental formula, glucose water, or other liquids unless medically indicated.
Advise the mother not to offer a bottle or a pacifier/dummy until breastfeeding is well established.
Schedule a first infant follow-up visit 48-72 hours after hospital discharge or earlier if breastfeeding-related problems, such as jaundice or excessive weight loss are present at the time of hospital discharge (mean weight loss is 5-7%, threshold for ‘excessive’ varies but more often is >10%)
Ensure there is access to a lactation consultant/educator or other healthcare professional trained to address breastfeeding questions or concerns.
Ensure availability of appropriate educational resources for parents.
Allow and encourage breastfeeding in the waiting room.
Ensure an office environment that demonstrates breastfeeding promotion and support.
Eliminate the practice of distribution of free formula and baby items from formula companies to parents.
Develop and follow telephone triage protocols to address breastfeeding concerns and problems.
Commend breastfeeding mothers during each visit for choosing and continuing breastfeeding.
Encourage mothers to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months and to continue breastfeeding with complementary foods until at least 24 months and thereafter as long as mutually desired.
Discuss the introduction of solid food at 6 months of age.
Acquire or maintain a list of community resources (for example, breast pump rental locations) and be knowledgeable about referral procedures.
Refer expectant and new parents to peer, community support, and resource groups. Identify local breastfeeding specialists, know their background and training, and develop working relationships for additional assistance.
Support local breastfeeding support groups.
ABM Clinical Protocol
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