Registed Nurses' Association of Ontario

Breastfeeding - Promoting and Supporting the Initiation, Exclusivity, and Continuation of Breastfeeding in Newborns, Infants and Young Children

Type of Guideline: 
Clinical
Status: 
Published
Publish Date: 
2018
About this Guideline:

Breastfeeding - Promoting and Supporting the Initiation, Exclusivity, and Continuation of Breastfeeding in Newborns, Infants and Young Children is a best practice guideline (BPG) that supports breastfeeding initiation, exclusivity for newborns and infants to six months, and continuation for infants and young children to two years, or longer, in addition to complementary feeding.

The BPG has 16 evidence-based recommendations that seek to optimize breastfeeding outcomes in community and health-care organizations. It is relevant primarily for nurses and members of the interprofessional team to enhance the quality of their breastfeeding promotion and support. The secondary audience is peers who support breastfeeding either independently or in collaboration with nurses and the interprofessional team.
Recommendations are provided at the following three levels:

  1. Practice recommendations are directed primarily towards nurses and members of the interprofessional team who provide clinical care to breastfeeding persons. Recommendations in this area include strategies to support skin-to-skin contact, the initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of life or once the dyad is clinically stable, responsive cue-based breastfeeding, and effective positioning, latch and milk transfer.  
  2. Education recommendations are directed to those responsible for the education of health-care providers (i.e., educators, quality improvement teams, managers, administrators, and academic and professional institutions). The recommendation in this area supports the provision of continuing education to nurses, the interprofessional team, and peers that incorporates theoretical knowledge and practical skills in breastfeeding.
  3. Organization and system policy recommendations include the integration of lactation consultants in the provision of care to the breastfeeding dyad, the implementation of the provisions of the Baby-Friendly Initiative, and accommodations for breastfeeding persons in the workplace.
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