The Ministry of Health has instructed the maternity wards to encourage, support and protect breastfeeding by taking measures including: assisting new mothers to nurse within the first half hour after childbirth; providing instruction regarding how to begin and continue nursing (including pumping of breast milk); and allowing rooming in for new mothers and their newborn infants (having babies by their mothers' side) at all times during their hospital stay.
- After the mother is released from the hospital she can receive breastfeeding instruction and support at the Family Health Centers (Tipat Halav).
Who is Eligible?
- All women who have given birth.
How to Claim It?
Instruction in the Hospital
- Instruction regarding breastfeeding should be given once per day in the maternity ward, on every day the mother is in the hospital following birth.
- If a lactation consultant does not contact the mother following childbirth, the mother should contact a maternity ward nurse in order to make an appointment with a nurse who is a certified lactation consultant.
- For a list of certified lactation consultants by area, see the Ministry of Health's Website.
Instruction in the Community
- After the mother is released from the hospital she can receive breastfeeding instruction and support at the Family Health Centers (Tipat Halav) located around the country.
- She can also receive guidance from a lactation consultant through the supplemental insurance of her health fund (each health fund has its own rules). For more information see the "Kol Habriut" website.
Content of the Instruction
- Instruction regarding breastfeeding from a certified lactation consultant must include the following topics:
- The importance of breastfeeding and its benefits.
- Signs of effective breastfeeding.
- The frequency and duration of breastfeeding.
- Breastfeeding techniques.
- Common difficulties the mother and baby may face during the breastfeeding process.
- Pumping and storing breast milk.
- Women working full-time, or at least 174 hours per 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. (This entitlement is not contingent on actually breastfeeding and maybe divided between the spouses.) For more information see Nursing Time at Work (Parenting Hour).
- La Leche League International - Organization providing support and information related to breastfeeding; Click here for the Israeli La Leche League website in Hebrew
Laws and Regulations
- Nursing Administration Circular 81/2010 from 25.01.10 - 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
- Original information provided by the IMA.
- English translation and maintenance by The Shira Pransky Project.