Just under half of all six-week-old babies in the U.K. are breastfed, and just under a quarter are still being breastfed at six months old so it is likely that children's nurses will frequently encounter breastfed babies on children's wards. Support for breastfeeding has traditionally been left to midwives but Department of Health guidance requires that all relevant staff have training in this practice. Children's nurses need to understand the principles and practice of breastfeeding support including correct positioning and attachment, prevention and management of breastfeeding problems, mothers' needs and safe use of breast pumps. Breastfeeding should be part of the curriculum for children's nursing courses, including practical sessions to observe breastfeeding support in the clinical setting. Children's nurses should be aware that literature and learning resources written for midwives might be appropriate for them to access to increase their understanding in this important area of practice.
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