The Department of Health, with support from Unicef´s Baby Friendly Initiative, produced in November 2010 two information sheets for both mothers and health professionals.
The information sheet for mothers, called “Baby and you: Your breastfeeding journey”, provides information to mothers and their partners of what care they should expect from their midwives (and other health professionals) at 12 weeks, 34 weeks, birth and in the postnatal period. Women should expect to receive information on the importance of skin-to-skin contact with their baby, breastfeeding and working, local support groups and they should expect to be helped with positioning/attachment and how to express breast milk, amongst other things.
The “Breastfeeding Care Pathway” for health professionals acts as a useful guide to the care they should be providing in relation to breastfeeding. This reference guide is based around the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and the Seven Point Plan for Sustaining Breastfeeding in the Community. Health professionals are expected to provide antenatal one-to-one discussions on breastfeeding, offer the first breastfeed as soon as possible after birth and make themselves available to support women and their partners postnatally if needed.
The leaflet “Baby and you: Your breastfeeding journey” can be viewed and downloaded from here.