Safer Infant Feeding Strategy for Portsmouth City
Authors: King, D.
Publisher: Portsmouth City Council
Place of Publication: Portsmouth City
An infant feeding strategy which incorporates both breast and formula milk feeding best practice evidence, will support both parents and their care givers in ensuring infants are receiving nourishment in the right amounts, at the right times and in the 'right' way to meet their needs as a member of their family. The World Health Organisation recommends that infants should be exclusively breastfed until six months of age and then offered breastmilk alongside appropriate solid foods up to two years. Women should be informed that breast milk provides all the energy and nutrients that a baby needs for the first 6 months of life, and it continues to provide around half of a child’s nutritional needs between 6 months and 1 year old, and up to one-third during the second year of life2 (see appendix 1 for a table detailing the benefits). As well, new mothers should be given information and support in developing their breastfeeding techniques and skills.
However, should a mother choose to feed her baby formula milk or to bottle feed breastmilk she will require sufficient information on how to make up these feeds safely to meet her individual baby's nutritional needs without overfeeding, and information on the importance of giving the majority of the feeds herself in order to promote attachment.
The tone and content of the information given to mothers regardless of choice of infant feeding method should be mother friendly and accessible to mothers in a language format (written / verbal / graphic) that they can easily interpret and using words they understand - taking into account the mother's ability to understand, language barriers, disabilities, learning differences, cultural differences and use of healthcare language that might be misunderstood.