Edited book (chapter)
|Book Chapter Category
|Edited book (chapter)
|Paediatric Nursing Skills for Australian Nurses
|Forster, Elizabeth and Roache, Bridget
|Forster, Elizabeth and Fraser, Jennifer
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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Introduction: The focus of this chapter is the role of the nurse in supporting breastfeeding for newborns and infants, especially during periods of illness or hospitalisation. As a paediatric nurse, you need to develop an understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the breast and breastmilk production, as well as the development of oral structures, suckling and latch to the breast in order to support breastfeeding. You will also need to identify and develop skills to facilitate breastfeeding. It is important to understand the significance of global standards that support the initiation and maintenance of breastfeeding to ensure the highest possible health outcomes as outlined in Article 24 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNICEF, 2009).
Global perspectives on breastfeeding: As background to developing breastfeeding skills, it is also important that you develop your understanding of the global and national recommendations and strategies supporting breastfeeding, and how these have been developed to inform and shape national and local policies and health professional practice. Globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) recommend that breastfeeding should be initiated within the first hour of birth, that exclusive breastfeeding occur for up to the first 6 months of an infant’s life and that breastfeeding continue to 2 years of age and beyond as the normative standard for infant feeding. Additionally, timely and appropriate introduction of family foods at about 6 months should be a key support to breastfeeding for optimal growth and development (UNICEF, 2015).
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) was launched by WHO and UNICEF in 1991 to implement practices that protect, promote and support breastfeeding (WHO and UNICEF, 2009). In 2006 in Australia, BFHI became the Baby Friendly Health Initiative to encompass the role of community health centres in supporting breastfeeding. Underpinning BFHI are the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, which outline what maternity facilities and other health agencies that provide care for mothers, newborns and infants can implement to promote breastfeeding.
|Independent Consultant, Australia
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