The Newborn care program initiative program is supporting skin-to-skin contact and the early initiation of breastfeeding in the first hour post partum, as it is key to successful breastfeeding and helps to identify any early problems with position or attachment for mother and baby when breastfeeding is initiated. As a baby friendly hospital, formula and bottle feeding is not allowed to be used by the mother or family while at the hospital.
The most effective way to encourage women to give colostrum to their babies and to continue to exclusively breastfeed is to provide counseling before birth and then to provide support for the mother and baby to have skin to skin contact the moment the baby is born.The baby can begin breastfeeding immediately and receiving essential nutrients and protective antibodies that the first 'yellow' colostrum milk provides.
The Newborn Care Program that is implemented at the maternity room, including promotion of skin-to-skin contact, initiation of breastfeeding and assistance to breastfeeding mother who need protection.
In October 2008 Alola received requests from the midwives at Dili Hospital to employ a midwife to support new born care at the maternity ward. The main objective was to get immediate breastfeeding within an hour after the birth of a child, and to support the mother for breastfeeding at the hospital.
The presence of a Hospital Liaison Officer (HLO) to provide counseling in both hospitals is crucial to minimize problems associated with breastfeeding that impact on mothers' morbidity, such as breast engorgement and mastitis. The Hospital Liaison Officers support around breastfeeding also addresses babies' morbidity such as jaundice and diarrhea, which can result from the incorrect use of formula and bottle-feeding.
Essential to this program is the Alola Maternity Pack Project, which provides clothing for mothers and babies including breastfeeding material promotion. Thanks to the maternity packs, the babies don’t have to be sent home in torn up hospital sheets because their families can’t afford infant clothing and baby blankets.