The Ministry of Health has instructed maternity wards to encourage and support breastfeeding, though in certain cases, the hospital will still provide baby formula.
- Baby formula will be provided in the following cases:
- If the mother is incapable of breastfeeding or if a supplement to breast milk is required.
- If the mother has decided to feed her baby formula (partially or fully), after having received instruction and an explanation regarding the benefits of breastfeeding (provision of such instruction must be recorded in the mother's hospital file).
- If there is a medical reason for not breastfeeding (i.e. if it may cause medical risk to the mother or baby).
- A medical staff member may recommend the use of baby formula (the recommendation and its reasoning must be recorded in the baby's hospital file).
- Parents must be given the choice between at least two types of formula (different brand names).
Who is Eligible?
- Any woman who has given birth.
How to Claim It?
- Following childbirth, the mother is given instruction regarding infant feeding, during which she should be told about the option to use baby formula, as well as the option to choose between different types of formula.
- A mother not wishing to breastfeed must indicate this explicitly to the medical staff.
- If baby formula must be provided according to a doctor's instructions, it will be provided without any required action on the part of the mother, after the parents are notified as such.
- The Ministry of Health does not permit distribution of gifts that include the following to women who have just given birth in the hospital: baby formula, baby bottles, baby food, or tea. The Ministry of Health also does not allow advertising materials for baby formula in the healthcare system.
- Women working full-time, or at least 174 hours a month, are entitled to work one hour less per day without it affecting their salary for the first four months after returning from maternity leave. For more information see Nursing Time at Work (Nursing Hour). (The entitlement is not conditional on actual breastfeeding and it maybe divided between the partners.)
- For a comprehensive categorized listing of healthcare organizations offering assistance and support, click here.
- Medical Administration Circular 16/2013 from 28.07.2013 - Encouragement of breastfeeding in hospitals
- Medical Administration Circular 19/2012 from 01.07.2012 - Instruction regarding breastfeeding for new mothers from a qualified nurse and/or certified lactation consultant
- Medical Administration Circular 60/2003 from 28.07.2003 - Encouragement of breastfeeding
- Medical Administration Circular 43/1999 from 13.09.1999 - Guidelines for the release of new mothers and newborn infants from the hospital
- Information about nursing and feeding infants on the Ministry of Health website
- Original information provided by the IMA.
- English translation and maintenance by The Shira Pransky Project.