7 steps for sustaining breastfeeding in the community

Infant feeding support

Posted on Jan 14, 2018

With an average of over 200 births per year to KAUST mothers, we put a strong emphasis on supporting pregnant and new parents to give every new KAUST baby a healthy start in life. One way we do this is by creating an environment where every mother’s informed choice of infant feeding – whether it be bottle feeding, breastfeeding, or both - is respected and supported.

Below is a comprehensive list of all the ways which KAUST Health protects, promotes, and supports healthy infant feeding practices:

​Step 1: The KAUST Health team is guided by a strong Infant Feeding Policy

KAUST Health has an infant feeding policy which ensures everyone in KAUST Health is committed to facilitating, promoting, protecting and supporting families in optimal infant feeding practices & nutrition. 

The policy makes it clear that all staff have a duty to support, promote and protect breastfeeding in-accordance with their occupational role at KAUST Health as well as having awareness of lactation support services and ability to refer where necessary.

​Step 2: Everyone at KAUST Health has been trained to support optimal infant feeding​

Absolutely everybody employed at KAUST Health has recently received training in skills and knowledge for optimal infant feeding practices relevant to their role. 

​Step 3: We provide free and unlimited pregnancy education to new parents

All pregnant women and their families are offered free and unlimited pregnancy education via one-to-one clinic consultation sessions and/or group antenatal workshops with the Ob/Gyn Educators/Midwives. These sessions provide information about pregnancy, birth, and caring for infants, including discussing the importance and management of breastfeeding and other infant feeding practices.

>> We also provide an online breastfeeding information booklet in English and Arabic.

Step 4: ​We provide postnatal infant feeding support

We provide home visits by a skilled breastfeeding support person to all KAUST mothers for the first 7- days after discharge from hospital to assess and support mother and baby in establishing optimal infant feeding practices. 
>> Learn more about the Postnatal Home Visit program
We also provide unlimited and free one-to-one clinic assessments and support with a trained breastfeeding specialist at any stage during your breastfeeding journey. We provide practical tips to get you through challenging changes such as insufficient milk supply issues, returning to work, infant growth spurts, and more. Please book an appointment with our lactation support services.

If you are considering giving a breastmilk substitute (formula) for any reason, please come and have a chat with us so we can work together to support your feeding goals. 

Step 5: ​We provide advice on nutrition and introduction of solid food​

KAUST Health supports the World Health Organization recommendation of giving your baby only breast milk for the first 6 months of life. As baby approaches 6 months of age all families are offered a clinic appointment with the Dietitian to discuss introduction of complementary food (solid food) at 6 months.

​Step 6: We have a reliable system to ensure continuity of care across all medical and community support areas

For instance:
  • Where possible, we will contact you following birth in the hospital of your choice to arrange a home visit. At each visit, we assess breastfeeding and offer support and advice.
  • We offer a hospital grade breast pump for short term hire to support mothers to maintain breast milk supply if there are special circumstances complicating direct breastfeeding.
  • We provide each family with information and direction to access services available in the KAUST community and in Jeddah that offer activities, support and resources for families with a baby.
  • This month we are piloting a Postnatal Support Group, open to all mothers of infants, to promote connection to other mothers and discuss important and practical care of mother and baby.

Step 7: ​We provide a welcoming and supportive environment for infant feeding

If you need to feed your baby at KAUST Health, we welcome you to feed your baby anywhere in the clinic, anytime you need. We also provide a baby feeding room located in the Ob/Gyn clinic area, if you prefer a more private feeding environment. This room was designed to accommodate both mother and baby in a warm and comfortable atmosphere.

To protect breastfeeding mothers, and in accordance with the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes, we do not allow any marketing, promotion, free samples, or other gifts of Breast Milk Substitutes (formula) at KAUST Health. This includes the formula itself, as well as bottles, teats, pacifiers or other infant feeding equipment. 

We also collaborate with KAUST HR and Community Life to establish baby-friendly facilities on campus including baby feeding rooms.

​More information​

We are here to inform, support and respect you in your infant feeding journey. For further information and support, please get in touch:

Ms Liz Mazey – OB/Gyn Charge Nurse, Registered Midwife (RM)
Available: Sunday to Thursday 8am-5pm

Ms Anna Smethurst – Ob/Gyn Educator, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) , Registered Nurse & Midwife  (RN/RM)
Available: Sunday-Thursday 8am-12pm
Infant feeding support