Yorke and Northern region supports local mums and newborns

Doctors, midwives and nurses at hospitals across the Yorke and Northern region are working together to promote breastfeeding and support new mums.

Executive Officer and Director of Nursing and Midwifery at Crystal Brook and Port Broughton hospitals, Liz Traeger, said Port Pirie, Crystal Brook and Jamestown hospitals – three of the region’s birthing sites – had recently been re-accredited Baby Friendly Health Initiative (BFHI) status.

“This is important because it reinforces to mums that our staff will do everything they can to support them and their newborns,” Ms Traeger said.

“These hospitals, including Clare Hospital which was previously re-accredited, have created an optimal environment for the initiation of breastfeeding and provide staff a framework to operate within, called The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.”

Ms Traeger said health staff at non-birthing sites including Peterborough, Orroroo, Booleroo Centre, Laura and Port Broughton, are also aware of the region’s breastfeeding policy and the BFHI program.

“This enables them to promote breastfeeding within their health service and in their community,” she said.

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) was developed by the World Health Organisation and UNICEF in 1990 and since then has been successfully introduced into over 15,000 facilities in 134 countries, including Australia in 1993.

The initiative aims to give every baby the best start in life by creating an environment in which breastfeeding is the norm and practices that promote the health and well-being of mums and babies are followed.

“The Baby Friendly Health Initiative is all about promoting breastfeeding and supporting women making their infant feeding choices,” Ms Traeger said.

“In 2016-17, 199 babies were born at Port Pirie, Crystal Brook and Jamestown.

“Of these births, 95 per cent of mums were breastfeeding their babies on discharge from hospital with support from our staff, which is a resounding endorsement of our commitment to promote breastfeeding and support mums and their newborns.”

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