Suggested Learning

New infant feeding training online

The 2015/16 edition of the Pharmacy Guide to Infant Feeding is now available online.

The comprehensive and essential training guide, brought to you by the Training Matters team, is designed to give pharmacists and the pharmacy support team information on all aspects of infant feeding, from breast vs. bottle to fussy eaters and everything in between. It also focuses on the importance of understanding customers’ needs and how to advise them appropriately, confidently and sensitively.

Sponsored by Aptamil, Cow & Gate, HiPP, SMA Nutrition and Ella’s Kitchen, the complete guide has new and updated sections as well as CPD tips, multiple choice questions and training points.

Customer care

Some pharmacies are reluctant to take on infant feeding as a major category and devote staff time and training as well as shelf space to an area that they feel is dominated by the supermarkets. But there are many reasons why pharmacies should engage with the baby category, not least because if pharmacy teams earn the trust of a parent early on in their child’s life, they may just gain a customer for life.

Parents are given so much advice about caring for their baby that they can actually become confused, or simply miss things that are said. Infant feeding can be a particularly confusing area about which parents often have questions. And sometimes, they can feel uncomfortable asking what they perceive to be a minor query to their GP or health visitor, or don't feeel it is worth making an appointment for. Which is where pharmacy can help. There is a great opportunity in the pharmacy to answer these questions, allay concerns and deal with uncertainties.

Business sense

The baby milks sector is also going from strength to strength. Total sales of baby milks are currently worth £393 million, up five per cent year on year, and sales of specialist milks for the dietary management of colic, constipation, reflux and lactose intolerance are currently worth £22 million, up 22 per cent year on year (according to IRI EPOS data, 52 weeks ending 3 January 2015). The total babycare category is worth nearly £1.5 billion in sales every year (according to Kantar World Panel data, 52 weeks ending 4 January 2015).

Pharmacies should see the category as an opportunity to support parents and win customers for life, says Mark Bentley, senior manager for Danone Nutricia Early Life Nutrition. Training the whole pharmacy team to have conversations with parents about common infant feeding problems can have a huge impact on parents and the wellbeing of their children. “If pharmacies see this as providing a service in the local community, they are setting themselves up for success,” believes Mark.

Customers who come to the pharmacy for advice and support on infant feeding will also purchase other babycare accessories, says Mandeep Mudhar, Numark’s director of marketing. “Pharmacists can provide that added element of advice with a purchase that the customer can’t get from a supermarket.” By offering good customer service to a parent, you can develop customer loyalty and the pharmacy may become the parents’ destination for the whole family’s healthcare.

Go to the infant feeding section now to start your training.

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