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Feeding Babies and Toddlers

  • : Surry Hills NSW 2010

2 Day Seminar for Maternal and Child Health Nurses, Midwives and Paediatric Nurses



Baby and childhood feeding habits can be fraught with problems which can often be easily remedied with the correct information. Attend this program and find out:

  • How to correctly conduct a breast and breastfeeding assessment
  • A simple and effective teaching model to teach breastfeeding
  • What infant formulae are the only suitable and safe alternatives to breast milk?
  • How to introduce solids according to NHMRC Guidelines
  • Dealing with food refusal
  • Can a child totally refuse to feed or eat?
  • Troubleshooting feeding difficulties from the outset


Need for Program

Experts generally agree that breastmilk is best for a baby. Nutrition is fundamental to the development of all children and sets the stage for health in later life. As well, poor early childhood feeding habits probably contribute to childhood obesity. Providing adequate nutrition to infants and toddlers is complicated by a range of factors including: cultural beliefs, underlying disease, disability, myths and fads. The NHMRC (Evidence-based) Infant Feeding Guidelines primarily relate to healthy infants (2015). However, there are many situations where guidance is needed for children with specific medical needs. Therefore it is essential that nurses and midwives have the nutritional knowledge and skills to prevent, intervene and educate about infant and toddler healthy feeding.

Purpose of Program

This program will inform health professionals about best available evidence relating to infant and toddler feeding so that optimum nutritional outcomes are achieved.

Your Learning Outcomes
  • Choose the best individualised approach to deliver sustained good nutrition to an infant or toddler regardless of cultural background
  • Simply teach breastfeeding skills to a mother who has received conflicting advice
  • Apply the current NHMRC Infant Feeding Guidelines to introduce solids effectively to an infant
  • Use informed nutrition decisions to advise parents where allergies are a concern
  • Schedule Day One

    8:30am - Registration and Refreshments 
    Heather Harris to present day one


    Healthy Pregnancy - Healthy Baby

    Prenatal life is a critical period for the metabolic ‘programming’ of obesity in later life. A mother’s weight at the time of conception and subsequent weight gain from early to late pregnancy can profoundly influence the infant’s birth weight and future metabolism. Additionally, the nutritional status of a woman has a direct influence upon her own health before and during pregnancy, and plays a vital role in foetal growth and development. This introductory session reinforces and explains the importance of good nutrition and overall health to improve pregnancy experience, outcomes, and future health, for mother and baby.


    Bring Back Antenatal Breast Assessment

    A detailed assessment of a woman’s breasts should be an essential part of prenatal care. Unfortunately it has fallen out of fashion over the years, often with resulting breastfeeding problems which, if anticipated earlier, may have been avoided or ameliorated. A skilled antenatal breast check will indicate potential breastfeeding issues. Early assessment and identification of these potential challenges enables mothers and health professionals to prepare and communicate a management plan before birth, enabling mother and baby to have the best possible start to breastfeeding. This session will revert back to basics to explain the fundamental principles and practical approaches to a breast assessment. Includes:

    • Normal changes to the breast during pregnancy
    • Primary breast hypoplasia and its impact upon exclusive prolonged breastfeeding
    • Nipple characteristics which may impact upon early breastfeeding, e.g. inverted nipples, nipple piercings, nipple surgery
    • Surgery, skin integrity and scars
    • Breastfeeding history - including family breastfeeding history
    • When assessment findings should warrant referral to a lactation consultant prenatally
    • Strategies to ensure the best possible breastfeeding outcome

    10:30am - Morning Tea and Coffee


    Breastfeeding and Overall Health Assessment

    Understanding a woman’s overall health is crucial to assessing and troubleshooting any breastfeeding issues. Whilst much attention is often given to the birth and the period immediately after birth, there are a range of health conditions and changes that will affect breastfeeding, regardless of whether a woman had an epidural or had immediate skin-to-skin contact. This session will build on your ability to assess a woman’s health and apply your findings to breast and breastfeeding assessment. We will explore the issues of maternal nutrition, cultural beliefs about good antenatal care, ‘exclusive’ breastfeeding and expectations of life with a new baby. Includes a systematic approach to determine the impact of the following:

    • Weight changes
    • Hormone changes
    • Nutritional status
    • Blood glucose levels and other endocrine changes
    • What postnatal changes to health may affect breastfeeding?


    Communicating Your Findings

    During and following a detailed assessment, your ability to effectively communicate your findings both in writing and verbally is important. Not only is communication clearly fundamental to your engagement with a mother, it is also essential for your colleagues. Your ability to relate to a woman will be influenced by your body language and emotional and cultural intelligence. This discussion will invite you to consider and share the following:

    • The impact of language upon womens healthcare
    • How to be culturally respectful
    • What to say, what not to say
    • Golden rules for body language
    • Sufficient, concise documentation of assessment and plan implementation

    1:00pm - Lunch Break and Networking


    How to Simply Teach Breastfeeding

    There is much to understand and know when supporting a mother who is breastfeeding her baby. With the 21st century offering access to so much information via the internet, ensuring mothers receive correct information becomes a challenge. There is countless differing opinions and advice available which may also change from provider to provider. This session will highlight the importance of understanding the basics of breastfeeding, why it is imperative that the correct techniques are being taught and how as healthcare providers we can ensure mothers’ needs are met. This session will explain basic theories and draw on practical experience to teach ‘the art of breastfeeding’. includes:

    • The basics of breastfeeding assessment - ‘SYPNCY' and how to apply this simple education model to teach mothers problem-resolving breastfeeding techniques
    • A simple effective model to reduce conflicting advice

    3:15pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


    Putting it All Together

    This final session of day one will provide an opportunity for you to practise applying your knowledge. Using a range of case studies and scenarios, varying from basic to complex cases, you will be supported to:

    • Perform an overall health assessment and apply certain health changes and conditions to breastfeeding
    • Correctly assess and document a breast assessment
    • Practise your communication and appropriate use of language to describe your assessment findings
    • Apply a simple education model to teach breastfeeding in a manner that engages a mother and addresses conflicting advice

    4:30pm - Close of Day One of Program

    Day Two

    9:00am - Commencement of Day Two 
    Michele Meehan to present day two


    The Feeding Development Framework

    During the first few weeks to months of life, feeding gradually changes from a reflexive to a learnt behaviour. The progression from reflexive to voluntary independent feeding occurs along a developmental continuum and involves a complex interplay of events. The Feeding Development Framework developed at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne offers health professionals a structure for identifying developmental progress or feeding difficulties. This session explores:

    • What is ‘The Feeding Development Framework’?
    • Who is it for and how can you apply it in your practice?
    • What outcomes can you expect?


    The Special Feeding Needs of Premature Babies

    Premature babies including infants with low birth weight are at increased risk of growth and feeding problems in their first year of life. Feeding is usually a primary concern for all mothers especially on discharge from a neonatal unit where the mother and infant may not have had enough opportunity to feed together. Includes:

    • What is the effect of a baby's early experience on their feeding development?
    • Do premature babies require the same nutrients as full term babies?
    • How do you know whether the baby is getting sufficient nutrients?
    • What do parents of premature babies find helps them most from nursing staff?

    10:30am - Morning Tea and Coffee


    Bottle Fed Babies - The Forgotten Feeders?

    Babies are bottle fed for many reasons, including feeding breastmilk by bottle. Less than half of babies are being exclusively breastfed at three months indicating that many babies are bottle fed by 12 weeks of age. This session looks at:

    • What are the mechanics of bottle feeding?
    • Is infant formula the only suitable and safe alternative to breast milk to meet nutritional needs?
    • Are there oral and dental considerations associated with bottle feeding?
    • Educating parents on the frequency, dilution and correct method of bottle feeding


    Introducing Solids - Not What Your Mother Thinks?

    NHMRC Infant Feeding Guidelines are constantly changing. They may be quite different from a previous generation’s knowledge of infant feeding. Baby led weaning, finger foods, puree, sachet foods all can create a confusing scene for the first time parent. As well, feeding advice from a family member may be at conflict with current evidence-based recommendations.

    • What are the changes that have occurred over the last generation?
    • What is the best way to ensure a good transition to solid food?
    • Preventing obesity from the outset

    1:00pm - Lunch Break and Networking


    Allergies - How Do They Affect a Child’s Approach to Food

    This illustrated session reveals examples of unlikely allergies which have a profound impact on a child’s nutritional status. There has been a significant increase in the prevalence of childhood food allergy in Australia. This presents a challenge to health professionals working with families of young children who may be on strictly controlled foods. As a result, this has the potential to impede long term good eating habits and cause negative behaviours associated with food.

    • How to approach feeding development in babies and toddlers when certain foods are restricted
    • What are the main foods that cause allergies?
    • What are food alternatives in a healthy diet?


    Toddler Food Refusal - The Battle You will Never Win!

    Although toddlers are a delightful and trying challenge, food provides a perfect medium for the struggle for independence. Many toddlers use food to test their power but others can create scenarios that gradually restrict their diet by avoiding new foods or creating meal times that are a nightmare for the whole family. This interactive session looks at:

    • How to educate parents about appropriate management strategies and healthy eating

    3:30pm - Afternoon Tea and Coffee


    Case Scenarios to Consolidate Your Knowledge

    This highly interactive final session enables you to test your learning and share your experiences with others in the group. Includes:

  • Sam the premature baby who turns away from food
  • Sarah who has allergies is now refusing solids
  • Jack the toddler who battles every spoonful

  • 4:30pm - Close of Seminar and Evaluations


    Heather Harris

    Heather Harris

    Heather Harris (BN Deakin, MMid LaTrobe) first qualified as a midwife in 1970 and has worked in all areas of midwifery practice over the intervening years. She has served on a number of professional committees over the years including ACMI (Vic) and ALCA ( now LCANZ). She was involved in the successful BFHI accreditation for Mitcham Private Hospital, the RWH and Box Hill hospital. She is a Breastfeeding specialist who first qualified as an IBCLC in 1991. She has also been involved in the education of health professionals, presenting in all States of Australia as well as in the US and Hong Kong. Since 2001, Heather has served as a midwife with Doctors Without Borders in the Ivory Coast, South Sudan, Somalia, Sri Lanka and Nepal. She currently has her own private practice in lactation consultancy.

    Michele Meehan

    Michele Meehan

    Michele Meehan is a Maternal and Child Health Nurse currently working in her private practice, 'Parenting Matters', and lecturing on child health topics. Prior to this, she worked for 30years at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, as a Clinical Nurse Consultant. Michele holds a Master’s Degree in Health Science - Parent and Infant Mental Health, and wrote her minor thesis on the topic of 'Infant food refusal'. Her qualifications also include midwifery, community health nursing, health education and counselling and psychotherapy.

    Feeding Babies and Toddlers
    Speciality Classification
    Provider Type
    12 hours
    Start Date
    End Date
    12 hours
    Price Details
    Surry Hills NSW 2010
    Rydges Sydney Central (formerly Sebel Surry Hills), 28 Albion Street
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