In this poster we want to share our experiences with the implementation process and practical results from a project to secure good quality regarding breastfeeding support in a NICU.
As a framework for the project we used WHO/UNICEF 10 demands for a Baby Friendly Hospital which support breastfeeding from birth to discharge. These demands were adapted to the NICU setting by the Norwegian Breastfeeding Competence Centre.
To get an approval the unit started a project with a group of nurses and doctors led by a lactation consultant. The project group developed evidence based standards that met the 10 demands. A total of 21 guidelines for solving different kinds of breastfeeding challenges were developed, covering all kinds of interventions from before birth to discharge. In addition 23 standards regarding breast problems and milk production were elaborated. Many of these standards and guidelines were also issued as informational folders to mothers.
To increase the staff’s knowledge, an educational program for doctors and nurses was arranged, and our first priority was to educate five lactation consultants. In addition specific guidelines for educating new employees were developed.
To assure good collaboration with the maternity ward and the primary health service, standards and information material were co-ordinated, and information about breastfeeding problems was documented and distributed in meetings and written reports.
After all these actions were initiated the Neonatal unit at Rikshospitalet University Hospital met the criteria of knowledge level and breastfeeding support, and was thereby approved as a Baby Friendly Neonatal Unit in January 2006.