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A Critical Analysis Of Supplementing Breastfeeding Mothers

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Introduction
Breastfeeding rates remain low nationally, with 53% of mothers exclusively breastfeeding on discharge (Department of Health, 2016). Supplementing breastfeeding mothers may contribute to these figures as supplementation is associated with a shortened duration of breastfeeding (Chantry et al, 2014). NICE (2006) states that breastfeeding mothers should not receive formula unless medically indicated. The topic discussed within the outline of this audit is whether a medical indication is documented for the supplementation of breastfeeding mothers. Clinical audit is an essential step in improving healthcare services. It can be defined as ‘the systematic critical analysis of the quality of medical care including the procedures
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This audit could be categorised as a directorate priority as it is ‘based on best practice guidelines, local policies, issues identified by professional bodies or other relevant topics arising from issues receiving regional or national attention’ (HSE, 2013, P18). Stage 3 – Collection & Measurement of Data
Focus in any stage of the audit is of importance, and must be considered at every stage. For this reason, Buttery’s (1998) suggest the use of verbs such as improve, increase, enhance and change in relation to guiding the audit planning process. A variety of skills are required in the clinical audit process including, but not limited to leadership skills, organisation skills, communication and interpersonal skills, and project management skills (HSE, 2013). The focus of this audit is whether supplementation of breastfeeding mothers has occurred and if a medical indication has been stated, as suggested by NICE (2006) guideline. Supplementation can be defined as the use of infant formula by mothers who are breastfeeding. Service user documentation in the local region are now recorded electronically, thus allowing ease of collection of data. Various computer programmes can be implemented in the collection of this data. However, the figures should be re-examined to ensure accuracy of results, and decrease the margin for error (HSE, 2013). Data will be collected retrospectively over a six-week timeframe, as this will be a
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