Author(s): Barbara Broers (AEF), Dorota Paluszy?ska(BDG), Anna Szczygie? (BDG), Barbara Królak-Olejnik (ABFG)
Introduction. The introduction of recommendations and the update of the standard of obstetric care, which has been in force since January 1 2019, also concern patient rights to breastfeeding counselling. As one of the important aspects of care for the mother and neonate, counselling should be conducted by health care professionals: doctors, nurses and midwives. In Poland, hospitals are divided based on their referral levels into three types. The new medical standards improve obstetric care in the area of breastfeeding. Aim. The evaluation of the standard of obstetric care of September 20 2012 regarding breastfeeding practices based on a survey conducted amongst health care professionals employed at obstetrics and neonatology wards. Material and methods. The study involved 767 health care professionals from 42 Polish hospitals. It was a part of the project called: “Evaluation of breastfeeding practices incorporated in the standard of obstetric care in force from September 20 2012 to August 16 2018.” Hospitals were divided into 3 groups based on the degree to which the standard of care was implemented. The study was conducted using the CAWI method, with a link to the survey. IBM SPSS Statistics v. 19 was used for statistical calculations. Results. The profile of the respondents: 46% midwives, 27% nurses, 23% pediatricians and neonatologists, 7% gynecologists. The “skin-to-skin” contact directly after delivery was confirmed by 98% of the respondents. Assistance in latching the neonate on the breast in the delivery room was declared by a vast majority of health care professionals (98%). Information about benefits of breastfeeding was provided by 99% of the respondents. Employees of hospitals with a Child-Friendly Hospital title (group A) most often provided information about the choice of the first food (expressed mother’s milk) – 93% vs 85% (group C) vs 83% (group B). Conclusions. The level of knowledge and awareness of health care practitioners regarding the guidelines for breastfeeding counselling is high. Midwives most contribute to the implementation of this standard of care from amongst other health care practitioners. The contribution of pediatricians and neonatologists in procedures promoting natural feeding in neonates and infants is high. Health care professionals employed in hospitals with the Child-Friendly Hospital title most often declare the implementation of the standard of obstetric care. All health care professionals, irrespective of the hospital category, do inform mothers about benefits of breastfeeding.