Step 9 Standard
- All breastfeeding mothers should be discouraged from using teats and dummies while their babies are learning to breastfeed, with the reasons for this explained to them.
- Staff should not feed a breastfeeding baby using a teat without ensuring that the mother has made a fully informed choice that this should happen. Staff should not give a breastfeeding baby a dummy unless there is a clinical indication, and only then with the mother’s fully informed consent.
It is recommended that dummies and teats are used with caution in the neonatal unit when the baby is learning to breastfeed. This standard will not, however, be assessed formally as part of the Baby Friendly assessment process.
NB: Breastfeeding mothers may choose to give their baby a feed using a bottle and teat or may choose to use a dummy. It is the trust’s responsibility to ensure that mothers are informed of the risks and alternatives to teat and dummy use so that they can make a fully informed choice. For the mother to be in a position to do so, the trust must offer an alternative method of feeding breastfed babies other than from a bottle and teat when supplements are required. Staff should be trained to use this alternative method safely.
Criteria measured at each stage of the assessment process at Step 9
Requirements at Stage 3:
- Breastfeeding mothers to confirm that their baby has not been given a teat or dummy except in cases where the mother has made a fully informed choice.
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