Home > Switzerland > Breastfeeding information for mothers

29/01/2024

Videos

see dedicated page

Breastfeeding Meetings

La Leche League (LLL)

  • LLL organizes free mother-to-mother breastfeeding support meetings. In the sub-menu « Conseils » of the LLL Suisse website www.lalecheleague.ch , you will find the agenda of the meetings, a form to find help by e-mail as well as the telephone numbers of the facilitators available to answer your questions in several languages.
  • On the LLL Suisse romande FB page you find meetings in English, French and Spanish https://www.facebook.com/LLLSuisseRomande/ Remote meetings via ZOOM are also offered in French, English and Spanish.
  • On the LLL France website, you find also Breastfeeding support meetings in English in neighboring France: https://www.lllfrance.org/reunions/trouver-une-reunion (for instance in Cessy, Pays de Gex)

Breastfeeding support meetings at Arcade des sages-femmes (midwives)

Groupe “Nuage de Lait” – Milk cloud (in Gex, neighbouring France)

Meeting and sharing around breastfeeding in French – once a month on Monday from 2pm to 4pm.

  • 25 rue Lucie Aubrac – 01630 SAINT GENIS POUILLY.
  • Contact by phone in France +33 4 50 42 12 65 or +33 7 63 47 15 17

Breastfeeding Consultations

Three breastfeeding consultations are reimbursed by the basic health insurance (LAMAL) in Switzerland. (LAMal art. 29, al.2 – OPAS article 15). https://www.fedlex.admin.ch/eli/cc/1995/4964_4964_4964/fr

Lactation Consultants (IBCLC – DIU – CAS)

Find a Lactation Consultant

Midwives

Swiss Federation of Midwives
To find a midwife, go to the Swiss Federation of Midwives website (SFM) http://www.hebamme.ch/ You can select the service “breastfeeding counselling” or the additional service “IBCLC lactation consultant”.

Arcade sages-femmes Genève (Boulevard Carl-Vogt, 1205 Geneva)
The Arcade Midwives offers the following activities – details on their website: http://www.arcade-sages-femmes.ch/

  • Hotline 7 / 7. Phone +41 22 329 05 55
  • Home consultations (check your insurance for reimbursement)

Arcade sages-femmes Vernier (1214 Vernier)
The parent-baby centre at Les Libellules (12, bis avenue des Libellules) is a meeting place for information, consultation and support for pregnant women and parents with their babies up to one year old, as well as for older siblings. Address: 12, bis avenue des Libellules, 1214 Vernier http://www.arcade-sages-femmes.ch/fr/A-Vernier.htm

The Baobab midwives (since 15 April 2021)
Do you have questions about pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding? Free consultation on Thursday afternoons (except public holidays) from 2pm to 5pm, without appointment. Quartier des Vergers, Esplanade des Récréations 20, 1217 Meyrin.

Gynaecologist-Obstetrician Practice, specialised in breastfeeding

  • Cabinet Dre Tatiana Giraud, Route des Acacias 54bis, 1227 Carouge – GE, Phone 022 309 33 06
  • Cabinet Dre Ana Godinho-Lourenço,  Rue Plantamour 19, 1201 Genève, Phone 022 738 88 00

Pediatric practice of the Carouge Clinic

The practice is composed of several therapists. The paediatricians Sophie Guillot and Aline Richard welcome you for the follow-up of your children from birth. Tiphaine Folger, midwife and IBCLC lactation consultant, will accompany you in your breastfeeding project or during transition periods such as the return to work or the diversification of food.

Contact details : https://cliniquedecarouge.ch/pediatrie/
Carouge Clinic, Avenue Cardinal Mermillod 1, 1227 Carouge, phone : 022 309 45 20

Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève HUG (University Hospital of Geneva)

The Lactation Consultants assure consultations without without appointment from Monday to Friday except for Thursday (only with reservation in advance). If nesseray, a medical consulation will be provided. The in-Hospital Lactation Consultants organize courses in birthing preparation and breastfeeding initiation.

Hôpital de La Tour

Private Maternity – Whether you give birth at La Tour Maternity Hospital or not, breastfeeding consultants welcome you to talk about your breastfeeding plans and to accompany you when you return home.

Clinique Générale Beaulieu

Private Maternity – Our team of Lactation Consultants will accompany you whether you have a project to give birth in our Clinic or not. We offer outpatient consultations to answer your questions before the birth or throughout your breastfeeding.

  • Address:  Maternity Section, 1st floor, Chemin de Beau-Soleil 20, 1206 Genève
  • Make an appointment: Monday through Friday 8 am to 5 pm by phone 022 839 57 07
  • Consultation schedule (or counseling by phone): Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8am to 3.30pm by phone 022 839 56 17
  • Website : https://www.beaulieu.ch/maternite/apres-la-naissance/allaitement/

Parent – children Consultations

In Geneva, IMAD organises these consultations. But staff are not specifically trained in breastfeeding. https://www.imad-ge.ch/prestations/sante-de-la-mere-et-de-lenfant/

Documents

Complementary Feeding

Since 2002, the WHO and UNICEF have been recommending exclusive breastfeeding for up to 6 months, followed by the gradual introduction of appropriate, safe and adequate complementary foods, while continuing to breastfeed for two years or more.

When and how to introduce complementary foods to breastfeeding. According to the WHO, the introduction of foods other than breastmilk is recommended at 6 months. Introduction of small amounts of solid food “tiny tastings” from 4 months of age reduces the duration of breastfeeding.

WHO Guideline 2023 for complementary feeding of infants and young children 6-23 months of age (2023).
https://iris.who.int/bitstream/handle/10665/373358/9789240081864-eng.pdf?

Le Factsheet de l’OMS https://www.who.int/fr/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/infant-and-young-child-feeding

A Research study Introducing even tiny tastings of solid foods from the age of 4 months reduces the duration of breastfeeding.Stern, J., Funkquist, EL. & Grandahl, M. The association between early introduction of tiny tastings of solid foods and duration of breastfeeding. Int Breastfeed J 18, 4 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13006-023-00544-6

Stern et al state that since 2011, the National Food Agency of Sweden “informed parents that they can introduce tiny tastings (1 ml of solid food) from four months of age. The reasoning was that the amount was so tiny that it would not affect breastfeeding.” This recommendation is still in effect today in Sweden and introduction of solid foods at four months is recommended by some medical societies as well. https://doi.org/10.1097/mpg.0000000000001454

To determine if early introduction (before 6 months of age) of solid food is associated with shorter duration of breastfeeding (BF), Stern et al performed a retrospective statistical analysis of 1,251 mothers who had breastfed their infants in Sweden during the period 2012-2015. Based on their analysis, they conclude that the earlier the infants started tiny tastings, the earlier they ate larger amounts of solid food, which was corelated with a reduction of BF duration.

Thus, giving even small amounts of solid food before six months of age not only interferes with exclusive BF for six months, which is strongly recommended by the WHO, but also shortens BF duration. The latter both deprives the infant of high quality nutriments and potentially reduces the protective effect of BF for the mother’s health later in life. https://www.who.int/health-topics/breastfeeding#tab=tab_1

Breastfeeding while working

For many women, going back to work goes hand in hand with weaning – but it doesn’t have to be that way. In many cases, breastfeeding or expressing milk can be continued even while working. Since 2014, Swiss legislation has made breastfeeding or expressing milk at work a paid break. More information on breastfeeding and work

Various Informations on breastfeeding (dads, sleep, daycare…)

Information for fathers

Dads do not breastfeed and yet their presence is very important from the beginning of the child’s life. Their role is different from that of the mother, it is complementary. However, the father’s place is not always easy to take, the man also goes through a gestation and birth phase to become a father! He must learn to identify his feelings, talk about his doubts and express his expectations. – Want to know more? See dedicated page

Infant sleep

  • Baby sleep explained by Dr. Helen Ball “What is normal infant sleep – The view from Anthropology” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5fOogsUpIk (40 minutes with subtitles, see window below).
  • For more precious information in English, check BaSiS Baby Sleep Info Source https://www.basisonline.org.uk
  • New ABM Protocol #37 Physiological Infant Care – Managing Nighttime Breastfeeding in Young Infants (2023) https://www.bfmed.org/protocols
  • February 2023 Full breastfeeding for ≥3 mo were positively associated with longer infant sleep duration. Infants fully breastfed were more likely to experience better sleep trajectories characterized by longer duration in their first 2 y of life. Full breastfeeding may benefit infants through healthy sleep. February 2023, Wang W et al. Association of Breastfeeding Practices During the First 3 Months with Infant Sleep Trajectories: A Prospective Cohort Study https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36894247/
  • More infos on hand? Get the Infant Sleep App from University of Durham on your mobile phone (iOs and Android)

Breastfeeding when your baby is in daycare? Yes, this is possible!

The Child Health Service (Service Santé de l’enfance et de la jeunesse SSEJ) in Geneva offers support to educational teams in order to encourage continued breastfeeding in early childhood institutions and day care centers. Please contact severine.emery-martin@etat.ge.ch for more information.

Breastfeeding of a premature baby

Breastfeeding is all the more beneficial for a premature child as the child is immature. Breast milk provides essential nutrients for the maturation of organs and growth, and enables the child to better defend itself against infections, particularly digestive infections (including enterocolitis ulcerans EUN). It is now known that breastfeeding contributes to reducing the time spent in hospital and to improving the development of the child.

Breastfeeding duration

According to the WHO, exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months and continued breastfeeding for 2 years and beyond is recommended for the health of the child and the mother. In many culture what is called “extended breastfeeding” is simply a “normal” breastfeeding duration. In Switzerland, breastfeeding beyond 12 months can provoke comments. Do you have questions about breastfeeding a toddler, the value and composition of your milk, or the psychological benefits of breastfeeding for attachment and bonding? Are you looking for arguments to defend your breastfeeding project? Here is some information:

Depressed? Tired?

If you are in a state of chronic fatigue, have dark thoughts and no energy, you may be experiencing depression. This happens to many postpartum women. They experience a gap between the ideal world with a beautiful baby, and the reality of everyday life which can be exhausting, where you can feel alone and helpless.

“Accordages” is intended for parents of a baby aged 0-6 months who are struggling with their new responsibilities. The indications are perinatal depression, generalized anxiety, psychiatric history. https://www.hug.ch/consultation-accordages

For help in dealing with depression and other disorders related to pregnancy (before, during or after), do not hesitate to ask for help by contacting the “Santé psychique et périnatalité” programme at the HUG. https://www.hug.ch/sante-psychique-perinatalite

You can also check out the Australian POSSUM ressources, mental health tips for parents with (breastfed) babies “Growing Joy in Early life”

When we have a baby, it’s normal to find ourselves having to manage a lot of difficult thoughts and feelings. These videos offer you a set of simple strategies for taking care of your mental health in the perinatal period, from a new scientifically proven psychology known as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, or ACT.

Topic: Breastfeeding and hot weather

During summer time, heatwaves and very hot weather hit Europe again. We get regularly questions wether breastfed babies need water supply.

  • Exclusively breastfed babies get all they need in the first six months, as long as breastfeeding is well-established, and you are breastfeeding on demand. This is sufficient, even on very hot, humid days. More information here: https://www.lllc.ca/breastfeeding-summer-or-hot-weather
  • LLL Canada states: Even in very hot weather your baby doesn’t need additional water, as long as you respond to his cues to feed he will get all the fluids he needs in your milk. This article from LLL Canada gives more information about breastfeeding and hot weather. https://www.lllc.ca/breastfeeding-summer-or-hot-weather

Mamamap

Mamamap is an application that lists the breastfeeding spaces available to the public in Geneva and elsewhere. A “Breastfeeding Space” is an accessible and discreet, non-smoking place where mothers are welcomed and can breastfeed their child confortably.

Important: A woman is allowed to breastfeed her child in public everywhere in Switzerland!

Parent-children consultation

Depending on the region and structure, you might find people who are also trained in breastfeeding counseling. In Geneva IMAD, Portal Enfance et maternité is responsable for the parent-children consultations. But not all staff is trained in breastfeeding.

You have a child with Down syndrome?

If you are reading this, chances are you or someone you love has recently given birth to a beautiful baby with a little something extra. A support and exchange network is here for you. https://www.premiers-pas.ch/

Tourism – activities in Geneve with a (breastfed) child

  • Vieille ville, place de la cathédrale, canons, rues marchandes, place du bourg de four
  • marché des artisans
  • Maison Tavel
  • Promenade au bord du lac Léman
  • Baby-plage – plage de sable et de gazon, quai Gustave-Ador
  • Jardin anglais
  • Parc La Grange et parc des Eau-vives
  • Jet d’eau
  • Horloge fleurie
  • Jardin botanique (avenue de la paix)
  • Bains des Pâquis
  • Globe de la science et de l’innovation (CERN, Meyrin)
  • Cité du temps
  • Pique nique au parc des eaux vives
  • Pédalo sur le lac
  • Marché aux puces sur la plaine de Plainpalais
  • Croisière sur le lac
  • Promenade sur les bords du Rhône et sur le pont de la Machine pour la Cité du temps.
  • Confluence Arve-Rhône “bout du monde”
  • Parc des Bastions (université de Genève)
  • Carouge
  • Musée de l’Ariana (prendre un café sur la belle terrasse)
  • Parc de l’impératrice Joséphine (chemin de l’Impératrice 10, 1292 Chambésy
  • and more suggestions on https://www.geneve.ch/en/what-geneva