WHO Code
Supporting Families
Role Specific Knowledge

What is the general purpose of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (WHO Code)?

The Code aims to protect, promote and support breastfeeding by ensuring the proper use of breast-milk substitutes when necessary, on the basis of impartial information, free of commercial influences. It provides guidance for health care workers and for manufacturers and distributors of products covered by the Code.


Describe one point in your facility's infant feeding policy

Compliance with the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding in Canada.

Examples: Protect, promote and support breastfeeding; breastfeeding surveillance, adherence to the Code, keeping mothers/birthing parents and babies together etc.


Why is breastfeeding important for a baby?

Excellent nutrition, immune protection, increased allergy protection, less risk of some diseases ( eg. asthma, inflammatory bowel diseases, type 1 diabetes, some childhood cancers), microbiome differs from that of baby fed infant formula, cognitive development, enhances bonding etc


How does this facility help mothers/birthing parents feel comfortable breastfeeding or expressing milk in this facility?

Examples: signs welcoming breastfeeding at reception and in waiting areas, picture showing breastfeeding mothers/birthing parents in public areas, private room available for breastfeeding or expressing milk if requested by mother/birthing parent.


What additional competency would a nurse who draws blood or gives injections to infants need?

Competency in facilitating pain management strategies for the infant eg. breastfeeding, skin-to-skin.


Name two products covered by the Code.

Infant formula, specialty formulas, bottles, artificial nipples such as bottle nipples and pacifiers, any product that is marketed to replace breastfeeding/breastmilk in infants and young children under the age of 3 years - eg  solid foods for a 4 month old baby, a follow-up formula to replace breastfeeding in an 8 month old breastfeeding baby etc.


Name one place where a summary of the Infant Feeding Policy can be found in your workplace.

Examples: Reception, waiting areas, website etc.


Why is breastfeeding important for a mother/family?

Saves money, less environmental footprint compared to using infant formula, health reasons for mother such as involution of uterus and lessens risk of postpartum hemorrhage, lowers risk of some diseases (eg. breast and ovarian cancer, osteoporosis), increased food security, enhances bonding with baby etc


How does this facility support staff to meet their breastfeeding goals once returning to work after maternity leave?

Examples: Information given to staff when they go on a maternity LOA, policy to allow breastfeeding/pumping while at work, management receptive to working with employee to accommodate specific breastfeeding/pumping needs when they return to work,  refrigeration available for storing expressed breastmilk etc.


What additional competency would a person creating social media messages for the facility need?

Knowledge about ways to make imagery and messaging compliant with the WHO Code and with BFI standards.  Examples:  Normalization of breastfeeding and no promotion of bottles and artificial nipples, showing mothers/birthing parents and babies skin-to-skin rather than babies alone and tightly swaddled, showing mothers breastfeeding in public places rather than fathers giving bottles in public places etc.


Describe one way that your facility shows adherence to the WHO Code.

Examples: No free samples of products covered by the Code given to families, products falling under the Code are kept out of the sight of families, no resources or links to resources from infant feeding companies are given to parents, all resources used with families are screened for compliance with the Code etc.


Why is the Baby-Friendly Initiative important for your facility?

Examples: Evidence based best practice; facilitates continuous quality improvement; improves client satisfaction with the care they receive etc.


Describe one place where mothers/families can get help with breastfeeding at this facility.

Examples: Breastfeeding helpline, nurses/lactation consultants working directly with breastfeeding families, looking a brochure listing local resources for breastfeeding families etc.


How you would support a breastfeeding mother/birthing parent who was being criticized for breastfeeding in a public place?

Examples: Tell the mother she has the right to breastfeed in a public place and thank her for being an excellent role model for other breastfeeding families; inform staff of the person's right to breastfeed in a public place and explain that someone is criticizing this and the breastfeeding mother/birthing parent needs some support from staff; advocate for education of staff at the facility on strategies to protect the rights of breastfeeding families and demonstrate a welcoming atmosphere for breastfeeding.


What additional competency would a person providing sexual education and contraceptive counselling need?

Knowledge about the impact of some hormonal methods of contraception on breastfeeding and breastmilk production, knowledge about the criteria of Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) etc.