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Breastfeed Med. 2012 Oct;7(5):337-42.

Improving maternity care practices in New York: answering the Surgeon General's Call to Action.

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Obesity Prevention Program, Division of Chronic Disease Prevention, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY 12204, USA.


Hospitals providing maternity care influence breastfeeding mothers and infants during the critical, early postnatal period. Despite concerted public health efforts, there are persistent, large variations across New York State (NYS) hospitals in breastfeeding policies, maternity care, and infant feeding practices and in rates of breastfeeding initiation and exclusivity. An initiative addressing this issue is the Breastfeeding Quality Improvement in Hospitals (BQIH) Learning Collaborative, which was designed and implemented by the NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH). The BQIH Learning Collaborative, adapted from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement Breakthrough Series, embedded evidence-based maternity care best practices in a learning and quality improvement model. The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding served as the backbone for improvement with the aims of increasing the percentages of infants fed any breastmilk and exclusively fed breastmilk while decreasing the percentage of breastfed infants supplemented with formula. Twelve hospitals were selected to participate based on their breastfeeding metrics: 10 of the hospitals were low performing, and two were high performing on these breastfeeding measures. During the 18-month BQIH Learning Collaborative, process improvement occurred for several measures, including breastfeeding within the first hour after birth, breastfeeding mother/infant rooming-in, and receipt of formula samples/discharge bags. NYSDOH plans to spread this Collaborative to all hospitals providing maternity care in NYS. Comprehensive breastfeeding initiatives will continue in NYS in the effort to ensure that all breastfeeding mothers receive optimal support from healthcare providers and hospitals with the goal of making breastfeeding the norm for infant nutrition during the first year of life.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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