As noted in the previous blog post, Step 3 divides evaluation criteria between facilities with affiliated prenatal clinics or services and those without those services. This post will discuss facilities who do provide prenatal clinics/services. The guidelines used in this month’s posts discuss the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative Guidelines in the United States. Several countries have published their own guidelines, including Canada. BFHI International has not updated their criteria since 2006 but is currently working toward newer criteria.
The Interim Guidelines state, "The education should cover the importance of exclusive breastfeeding, nonpharmacological pain relief methods for labor, the importance of early skin-to-skin contact, early initiation of breastfeeding, rooming-in on a 24-hour basis, feeding on-demand or baby-led feeding, frequent feeding to help assure optimal milk production, effective positioning and attachment, exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months, and that breastfeeding continues to be important after 6 months when other foods are given," ¹.
When evaluating for designation, facilities need a written description of the prenatal education content to be covered in group and individual counseling. At least 80% of pregnant people will be able to report that clinic staff "entered into a conversation with them" on the necessary topics. This conversation may include one-to-one, small groups, videos, podcasts, texts, with methods to be based on the specific needs of each client. Finally, at least 80% of randomly pregnant clients in their third trimester are able to "adequately describe what was discussed concerning 2 of the following topics: importance of skin-to-skin contact, rooming-in, or risks of supplements while breastfeeding in the first 6 months," ¹.
What have been the most challenging parts of coordinating your facility’s prenatal education to meet these criteria? How have you been able to educate the various staff in these clinics to adequately educate pregnant people throughout their pregnancies?
Kathy Parkes, MSN-Ed, RN, IBCLC, FILCA CHC
Professional Development Educator
1. Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. (2020). The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. Interim Guidelines and Evaluation Criteria for Facilities Seeking and Sustaining Baby Friendly Designation. https://www.babyfriendlyusa.org/news/bfusa-releases-interim-guidelines-and-evaluation-criteria/
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