Policy Shmolicy

Breastfeeding is an art. Helping a woman with breastfeeding requires taking in all kinds of information–social, emotional, physical, medical–and formulating a unique plan of care for her. There are few pat answers or solutions to obstacles.

Given this, some nurses are hesitant to institute hospital policy for breastfeeding. But isn’t what I described above true of all areas of nursing? Each person and disease process is unique and requires nursing judgement in order to provide the most effective care.

I’ve also heard, “It’s just breastfeeding. Is a policy really necessary?” In February 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated their policy statement on breastfeeding.  According to the AAP, “Breastfeeding and human milk are the normative standards for infant feeding and nutrition. Given the documented short- and long-term medical and neurodevelopmental advantages of breastfeeding, infant nutrition should be considered a public health issue and not only a lifestyle choice.”

It’s time to lose the “policy shmolicy” attitude toward breastfeeding and use policy to point us all in the same direction, thus giving mothers consistent support and information.

Our Baby-Friendly related policy drafts have been given the green-light by Baby-Friendly USA! Take a sneak peak right here!


About blogtobabyfriendly

blogtobabyfriendly is written by Amy Murray, a Childbirth Unit nurse with a touch of earth muffin crunch. A childbirth educator and IBCLC, she's been a breastfeeding advocate all her adult life, believing that if our bodies make milk, it just makes good sense to feed it to our babies. blogtobabyfriendly is her hospital's journey to Baby-Friendly designation. Click to get email updates on new blog posts. Our desire is to learn, share, and learn more.
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5 Responses to Policy Shmolicy

  1. Rene Atkins says:

    Thank you for sharing, Amy. This is very helpful!
    Rene Atkins, RN, IBCLC
    Franciscan St. Francis Health

  2. Christine Lundberg says:

    Really great, Amy!

  3. Mary Carey RN , IBCLC says:

    unbelievable ! Sharing is so sensible ! THANK YOU ,mary

  4. Julie Jenkins says:

    I love your blog! I work in Lactation at Baptist Medical Center South in Montgomery, AL. We are on the Baby-Friendly journey as well but further behind you. I am curious about your policies. They’re wonderful but did Baby-Friendly require you to have one general feeding policy that referenced the individual policies? We created our policies similar to yours & so far our feedback from BFI is to have one all-consuming policy. What do you think? Thanks so much!!! Julie

    • Hi Julie
      Glad you like the blog and find it helpful! BFHI only requires the one infant feeding policy. The other policies we included were ones we already had in place, and the nurses already know to find certain information in those policies. We didn’t want to change that. There was lots of discussion regarding, should this be all one policy, or is it ok to break it up. There are pros and cons each way. Your group will need to make a decision that makes the most sense for your hospital. BFHI does like to see one policy which includes everything on their checklist. Additional policies are optional. When they reviewed our policies, the focus was on the one main infant feeding policy.
      Best of luck! Amy

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