The Recipe for Discussing Requests for Formula Under Step 6 of Baby-Friendly: Tips and Scripts

Time-frame: 60 minutes

Parent had a long delivery, but infant was finally born at a Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI)-designated facility!  Baby has had a tough time latching. Exhausted, sore patient rings up the bedside staff at the hospital or birthing center to say: “Please bring me some formula.  My baby is starving, and won’t stop nursing.  I must not have milk.  I am exhausted and need some rest.”

BFHI was always intended to provide ALL parents with information to make well-informed decisions about their own and their infant’s healthcare and feeding decisions. For families who earlier expressed a desire to exclusively breastfeed (as all public health and healthcare provider [HCP] professional association policies encourage), their request to suddenly veer course within hours of birth often springs from fatigue, misunderstanding of baby behaviors, and concern about inadequate milk supply.  HCPs in BFHI facilities can easily reassure parents that they, and their babies, are doing well, and do not need supplements of any kind.

After discharge, families often see formula as a “solution” to challenges in lactation management, especially with a return to work.  Hospital staff, peer counselors, and community-based lactation care providers will all find insight in how to discuss non-medically-indicated use of supplements, with the families in their care

This session meets requirements for E-CERP approval, for material covering Ethical and Legal Issues, and Public Health and Advocacy, coming under Section VII. Clinical Skills of the IBLCE Detailed Content Outline. After this session the learner will be able to:

  1. Identify which elements of Baby-Friendly’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding address supplementation for the infant
  2. Provide an example of “motivational interviewing” to assist a patient/client to meet their infant feeding goal
  3. Define three “conversation starters” to initiate a chartable discussion of decision-making about formula requests by lactating parents (whether in the hospital, or after discharge)



Country: USA
Phone number: 215-836-9088
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