Since the spring of 2019, maternity ward staff at Brandon Regional Health Centre have been working toward ‘Baby-Friendly Designation’ through a pan-Canadian Quality Improvement Collaborative Project. Brandon was chosen by the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada to be one of 25 hospitals to participate in a national project to scale up the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Initiative (BFI) and thereby improve maternal and infant heath.
The Baby-Friendly Committee for Brandon has been meeting regularly working through the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. These 10 Steps are the foundation of protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding. In order to be awarded Baby-Friendly Designation, we need to be meeting 80% of the 10 Steps (more about the 10 steps at the end of the article).
Highlights from this past year have been planning and implementing a two-day Breastfeeding Course for staff. Education is a vital component to protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding. This is Step 2 in the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. This course focuses on giving staff who work directly with mothers and babies the skills necessary to support the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.
The Committee continues to promote and support staff to provide uninterrupted time right after birth for mom to hold her baby skin to skin, regardless of a natural or cesarean delivery. Keeping mother and baby together right after birth is a crucial step to getting breastfeeding off to a good start. This involves a collaborative effort from many departments. We are incredibly thankful for everyone’s tireless commitment to keeping mothers and babies together.
Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, with an all hands on deck approach, work on the project was temporarily interrupted, but the commitment remains steadfast. Now that everyone is starting to adjust to our “new normal” of pandemic life, the BFI Committee is looking forward to having a pre-assessment done in the spring to evaluate our readiness for BFI designation in 2021.
To achieve this designation, PMH staff will be required to complete internal education on the initiative.
To learn more about the 10 steps of the BFI designation, please visit the Baby Friendly website.