Breastfeeding is important for infants’ nutrition. Australian and international health authorities recommend exclusive breastfeeding until around 6 months. At around 6 months, solid food can then be offered while breastfeeding is continued until 12 months or longer if the mother and baby wish (NSW Ministry of Health, 2014, p. 10).
Our Service respects and supports mothers’ wishes to continue to breastfeed, as we understand that returning to work is a common reason for discontinuing breastfeeding.We provide a welcoming environment for mothers to continue to breastfeed or express breastmilk.
All educators understand their role and responsibilities to ensure the safe storage and handling of breastmilk and adhere to the feeding practices outlined by families.
NATIONAL QUALITY STANDARD (NQS)
|QUALITY AREA 2: CHILDREN’S HEALTH AND SAFETY|
|2.1.3||Healthy Lifestyles||Healthy eating and physical activity are promoted and appropriate for each child.|
|EDUCATION AND CARE SERVICES NATIONAL REGULATIONS|
|77||Health, hygiene and safe food practices|
|78||Food and beverages|
|168||Education and care services must have policies and procedures|
|170||Policies and Procedures to be followed|
|171||Policies and procedures to be kept available|
|172||Notification of change to policies or procedures|
|Bottled Safety and Preparation Policy Health and Safety Policy||Nutrition and Food Safety Policy Work Health and Safety Policy|
Our Service recognises the importance of breast milk for the developing infant and will ensure that all families are aware of our commitment to supporting mothers to continue to provide their child with breast milk whilst at the Service.
This policy applies to families, educators,staff, management,Approved Provider, Nominated Supervisor, students, volunteersand visitors of the Service.
An important function of breast milk is to provide the mother’s antibodies to the infant, assisting in the prevention of illness whilst the immune system is developed. Mothers of infants up to 12 months old will be supported to continue to breastfeed, whether by providing expressed breast milk or visiting the Service to feed their child.
THE APPROVED PROVIDER AND NOMINATED SUPERVISOR WILL ENSURE:
- families are provided with breastfeeding information during enrolment and orientation
- the Service is identified as ‘Breastfeeding Friendly’ (see Resources section below)
- a quiet, clean, and comfortable place is provided for mothers to comfortably breastfeed or express breast milk
- easily accessible brochures, pamphlets and other resources about breastfeeding are available for families
- staff are aware that it is a mother’s legal right to breastfeed
- an individual breastfeeding support plan is developed in consultation with families, including contingency plans for if the Service does not have enough expressed breast milk to meet the child’s needs
- literature on the benefits of breastfeeding is updated and distributed to staff as required to support understanding and ‘best practice’.
- provide mothers with a private, clean and quiet place to breastfeed their children or express milk
- store and handle expressed breast milk in accordance with the Bottle Safety and Preparation Policy
- provide daily information to families regarding infant’s feeding intake
- communicate regularly with families about infant and children’s feeding patterns and routines
- establish and maintain connections with local breastfeeding support networks, including NSW Health and the Australian Breastfeeding Association
- refer mothers with breastfeeding concerns to appropriate resources, including support services offered by NSW Health, Australian Breastfeeding Association groups or private lactation consultants.
- be informed during orientation of requirements relating to the safe transportation of breast milk between home and the Service, and labelling bottles of breast milk
- be informed of where they are able to breastfeed or express milk
- be encouraged to communicate regularly with educators about children’s bottle and feeding requirements.
Our Service will:
- familiarise new educators and staff with the Breastfeeding Policy and offer appropriate training as required, including alternate strategies for feeding if an infant will not accept a bottle
- ensure all educators that have responsibility for the care of infants and children are able to provide basic breastfeeding information and are able to refer mothers with breastfeeding concerns to appropriate resources
- ensure staff encourage parents to develop babies’ individual breastfeeding support plans and regularly update their plans, with support from NSW Health, Australian Breastfeeding Association groups or private lactation consultants where appropriate.
- ensure all educators show due respect and support to mothers who cannot, or do not wish to breastfeed.
SUPPORT FOR EDUCATORS AND STAFF WHO ARE BREASTFEEDING
The Service will:
To request a free Breastfeeding-friendly zone sticker for Service entry doors or windows go to:www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/phd-gug-stickers(sheet 2)
Note: This image can also be copied and printed.
Register for Breastfeeding welcome here Service for stickers, posters, and more: https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/services/welcome
The Breastfeeding Policy will be reviewed on an annual basis in conjunction with children, families, staff, educators and management.
Australian Breastfeeding Association: www.breastfeeding.asn.au
Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority. (2014).
Australian Government National Health and Medical Research Council. (2013). Eat for health: Infant feeding guidelines: Information for health workers. https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/sites/default/files/files/the_guidelines/n56b_infant_feeding_summary_130808.pdf
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
Education and Care National Regulations. (2011).
Guide to the National Quality Standard. (2020)
NSW Ministry of Health. (2014). Caring for children birth to 5 years: Food, nutrition and learning experiences. https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/heal/Publications/caring-for-children-manual.pdf
Safe Food and Health Service Executive. (2013). How to prepare your baby’s bottle.
State Government Victoria Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (2014). Promoting Breastfeeding Victorian Breastfeeding Guidelines
|POLICY REVIEWED||FEBRUARY 2023||NEXT REVIEW DATE||FEBRUARY 2024|
|MODIFICATIONS||annual policy maintenanceno major edits to policycontinuous improvement/reflection section addedlink to Western Australian Education and Care Services National Regulations added in ‘Sources’Sources checked for currency|
|POLICY REVIEWED||PREVIOUS MODIFICATIONS||NEXT REVIEW DATE|
|FEBRUARY 2022||Additional regulations addedNo major edits to policySources checked for currency||FEBRUARY 2023|
|FEBRUARY 2021||Policy reviewed- minor editing (no capital letter in dot points), page numbers addedadditional Victorian Government resource addedsources checked for currency||FEBRUARY 2022|
|FEBRUARY 2020||Addition to opening statementSources checked for currency.New sources/references added.||FEBRUARY 2021|