New breastfeeding reference card launched
18/10/2017 11:53:25 a.m.

Wednesday 18 October 2017

New breastfeeding reference card launched

Lakes DHB is launching a new breastfeeding reference card to help mothers and families with new babies. 

The beautiful reference cards are easy-to-read with lots of pictures with useful information for getting breastfeeding underway and dealing with any problems that come up.

Supporting women to breastfeed is one of a number of strategies that were developed as part of a Lakes DHB project aimed at reducing rates of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI).Breastfeeding, Smokefree Pregnancies and Safe Sleep all help to protect against SUDI, and the reference cards provide advice about all those topics and has information about where to get additional help and support when needed.

Lactation Consultant Amy Wray has been instrumental in developing the breastfeeding reference cards. Amy started with Lakes District Health Board in April 2016 and helped to establish the community breastfeeding service - Kia Wana.

As part of the breastfeeding service, it was agreed that the information given mothers before they left the maternity unit could be revamped, so the resource card concept was developed, tested with women and refined. Women identified that they wanted a resource that was simple and clear, and said they generally preferred images and pictures, rather than lots of words and text.

The breastfeeding resource cards follow on from a range of educational ‘Talk Cards’ that Amy had developed for midwives and other health professionals that were working with mothers and babies.

“Often mums can’t remember everything they learnt from seeing the talk cards and would ask if they could take a copy of the cards home, so it made sense to develop a resource that provides a simple take-home summary. There are also lots of different leaflets that are handed out to mothers after a baby is born, which can be an overwhelming amount of information. This resource is a summary of all the important key messages for women and whanau, regarding breastfeeding, safe sleep, alcohol and smoking,” said Amy.

As part of the roll out of the resource across Lakes DHB, it’s planned to give a breastfeeding reference card out to each mother before she leaves the birthing unit. It’s also planned to make the breastfeeding resource readily available in the antenatal period as well.

Amy has developed similar reference cards for other DHBs and since they were first introduced early last year, around 17,000 copies have been distributed. Amy says the reference card seems to work well for many women and the feedback has been very positive.

The breastfeeding reference cards also help organisations to meet Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative accreditation standards. The information resource, with its clear messaging and attractive format, covers all the information requited to meet the baby friendly requirements.

Click here to view a .pdf of the new breastfeeding reference card.

Click here to read the DHB’s position statement on breastfeeding.