Woman Breastfeeding In A Cafe

Finding Breastfeeding Support: From Airports to Football Stadiums

Full Story While there are statewide initiatives to improve breastfeeding support for new moms, community support is also key to their comfort and success. Hospitals and groups like Women, Infant and Children (WIC) foster that kind of support, and other organizations are starting to fill in gaps to ensure that moms have the resources they need to breastfeed or pump in public spaces.

Hispanic Mother Breastfeeding Baby

Bridging Hospital and Community for Improved Breastfeeding Rates

Full Story To improve breastfeeding support and education, an El Paso hospital and a local WIC clinic began working together, and found that a continuous approach helps engage families.

Happy Black Couple With Newborn And Nurse

NYS Breastfeeding Collaborative Welcomes New Hospitals

Full Story A new video series is showcasing how healthcare providers in Texas are successfully implementing the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, a set of evidence-based practices hospitals can follow to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration by new moms. Created by the Texas Department of State Health Services, this 10-video series features healthcare providers sharing their strategies for success on the pathway to improvement.

Mother Nursing Newborn Infant

NYS Breastfeeding Collaborative Welcomes New Hospitals

Full Story More mothers in New York will soon experience better improvements in hospital maternity care, as 21 more hospitals join the state’s Breastfeeding Quality Improvement in Hospitals Collaborative (BQIH). Cohort A saw 12 New York hospitals work together and use quality improvement (QI) methods to change their systems and practices to better support a mothers choice to breastfeedings. Cohort B will see 20 new hospitals participate in the collaborative, building off the momentum and learnings from their predecessors.

Jennifer Ustianov

Rooming-in, An Essential Evolution in American Maternity Care

Full Story Over the past few years, many U.S. hospitals have moved away from the traditional use of nurseries for healthy newborn infants, choosing to move toward rooming-in and couplet care. Rooming-in is an evidence-based practice that promotes keeping healthy newborn babies and their mothers together in post-labor recovery rooms. This recent change in practice and policy for many hospitals is partially based on recommendations in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and the increased movement toward earning Baby-Friendly designation in the U.S.

Ivette Torres and her family at the hospital

Why I Participate: By Parent Partner Ivette Torres

Full Story Ivette Torres shares why proper support is key for positive breastfeeding and how her experiences led her to join the Texas Ten Step Star Achiever Breastfeeding Learning Collaborative as a parent partner.

Mercedez Cahue And Child

Why I Participate: By Parent Partner Mercédez Cahue

Full Story Mercédez Cahue shares her breastfeeding experience and why she joined the Texas Ten Step Star Achiever Breastfeeding Learning Collaborative as a parent partner.

Woman and Infant With Worker

WIC Reps Bridge Gap Between Community and Hospitals through Breastfeeding Support

Full Story With both large urban and rural areas in Texas, sharing consistent and accurate information about the benefits of breastfeeding with mothers and healthcare workers is an enormous undertaking. One state-wide initiative, the Texas Ten Step Star Achiever Breastfeeding Learning Collaborative, is harnessing the power of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) staff, using them as conduits for communicating evidence-based practices and offering guidance to both mothers and healthcare providers.

New Mother With Baby and Doctor

Second-Time Moms Appreciate Hospital Changes to Support Breastfeeding

Full Story When Nicole Acosta delivered her first child in May 2013, she knew she wanted to breastfeed, but she didn’t get as much support as she'd expected at her hospital, Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Islip, NY. Despite an uncomplicated delivery, no one suggested immediate skin-to-skin contact—a practice known to increase the likelihood of breastfeeding success. By the time she had her second son in June 2015, things had certainly changed at the hospital.

NYS Breastfeeding Quality Improvement Project Success

NYS Hospitals See Dramatic Results in Breastfeeding Collaborative

Full Story Recruitment is open for hospitals in New York State to join the state’s Breastfeeding Quality Improvement in Hospitals (BQIH) Learning Collaborative. If the results of the predecessor cohort of hospitals is any indication, these new recruits are in for some big changes.

Nurse With Mother and Newborn

The Long-Term Value of Better Breastfeeding Support

Full Story For hospitals and patients alike, the benefits of boosting breastfeeding support last far beyond any hospital stay. Investing in improved maternity practices can lead to major quality gains, jumps in patient satisfaction, and slashed healthcare costs—not to mention its power to drive up breastfeeding rates and protect the health of both moms and babies.

Hispanic Mother Nursing

Improving Breastfeeding Rates on the Texas-Mexican Border

Full Story With almost 9,000 births per year, The Women's Hospital at Renaissance in Texas' Rio Grande Valley is the area's busiest birthing center. Like other communities along the Texas-Mexico border, most "Valley" residents are Hispanic, and the population is characterized by high rates of poverty, low rates of health insurance coverage, and significant health disparities, including high rates of obesity and diabetes.

Asian woman holding a clipboard in the hospital

Supporting Breastfeeding Across A Hospital System

Full Story Changing a habit is not easy, even when you know it is "good for you." The same goes for changing healthcare systems. The benefits of breastfeeding are well known, and supported by the World Health Organization, the Joint Commission, and many other healthcare accreditation and oversight agencies and experts. However, many hospitals struggle to create environments that support mothers who choose to breastfeed.

Melanie Mouzoon

Leadership Support for Hospital Breastfeeding Initiatives

Full Story Leadership support is a necessary foundation to any change effort. Without it, change agents find it nearly impossible to get the required resources and attention needed to move forward. How do you get that critical support? NICHQ recently asked Melanie Mouzoon, MD, a Pediatric Hospitalist and the Chair of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative at the Women’s Hospital of Texas, to share how she achieved leadership support for improving breastfeeding outcomes at her hospital—which resulted in a 300 percent increase in the hospital’s exclusive breastfeeding rate.

Small Hospitals 10 Step Advantage Helps New Moms

Being Small Has Advantages for Hospitals Implementing the Ten Steps

Full Story Turns out, size may not matter. Small rural hospitals in New York State are experiencing as much, if not more, success in implementing evidenced-based practices to improve maternity care practices as their bigger suburban and urban counterparts.

Black Woman Breastfeeding Baby

4 Tips for Reducing Formula Supplementation in the Hospital

Full Story When a patient recently delivered her second baby at Harris Health System's Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital (LBJ) in Houston, she was surrounded by a team dedicated to one sole purpose: ensuring that she left the hospital breastfeeding. The support, which began in the delivery room and continued after she returned home, made a difference.

Physician Team Leader in Montefoire

NY Hospital Sees Breastfeeding Rates Soar with Neonatologist Leading Change

Full Story Yogangi Malhotra, MD, attending neonatologist and an early champion of breastfeeding, knew it wouldn’t be easy to bring change to New York’s Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital. But, her unique role as a neonatologist and the QI project team leader helped foster change more quickly in five key areas.

CDC Vital Signs Infographic

Baby-Friendly Hospitals Go From Crawling to Cruising

Full Story  The new issue of Vital Signs from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention focuses on hospital actions that influence breastfeeding—and there is good news. Hospitals are making progress implementing the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, evidence-based practices that create an environment to support mothers who choose to breastfeed.

Breastfeeding Care Team

Prenatal to Postpartum Continuum of Care Provides Benefits for Mothers Choosing to Breastfeed

Full Story  Educating mothers about the benefits of breastfeeding before they enter the hospital increases the likelihood mothers will choose the beneficial feeding method. However, building bridges between care providers, community groups and hospitals can be surprisingly difficult. One community participating in the New York State Breastfeeding Quality Improvement in Hospitals (BQIH) Learning Collaborative has figured it out.

Jennifer Ferrieri and Family

Why I Participate: By Parent Partner Jennifer Ferrieri

Full Story  Jennifer Ferrieri, a mother of two, shares her breastfeeding experience and why she joined the New York State Breastfeeding Quality Improvement in Hospitals (BQIH) Collaborative as a parent partner. "I feel my input has been an asset with implementing new strategies for getting women to breastfeed. If I, the (once) non-maternal, no experience at all new mommy can breastfeed not once, but twice lasting a grand total of 3 years, then I truly believe anyone can nurse. And I’m glad to help the North Shore University Hospital team achieve this."

Black Woman and Nurse In Hospital with Newborn

Georgia Becomes Baby-Friendly One Hospital at a Time

Full Story For DeKalb Medical Center in Decatur, Georgia, becoming designated as Baby-Friendly somehow always got relegated to a “someday list” when there was more time, more resources and fewer competing priorities. Now, someday is today. DeKalb Medical became the first hospital in Georgia to earn Baby-Friendly accreditation, a status which is reserved for birthing facilities that meet recommended care guidelines for lactating mothers and their babies. Georgia families are grateful.

Baby-Friendly USA Designated Teams

Facilities Awarded Baby-Friendly Designation

Full Story This page contains a listing of hospitals or birthing facilities working on NICHQ breastfeeding projects that have achieved Baby-Friendly designation.

Andrea Thompson And Her Son

Parent Partner Advice: Get Involved in Any Way That You Can!

Full Story Andrea Thompson is a parent partner on the quality improvement team for the Kingwood Medical Center in Kingwood, TX. The hospital is participating in the Texas Ten Step Star Achiever Breastfeeding Learning Collaborative, which seeks to help hospitals improve their maternity care practices to better support mothers who choose to breastfeed. Thompson has been extremely active with Kingwood’s breastfeeding support group, as well as its social media efforts to engage mothers. We recently sat down with the mother of a 3-year-old boy, Troy, to find out more about her role as a parent partner.

Retraining Staff Prioritizing Breastfeeding

Retraining Staff to Prioritize Breastfeeding

Full Story About 80 percent of the women giving birth at CHRISTUS Hospital - St. Elizabeth in Beaumont, TX breastfeed with 50 percent exclusively breastfeeding during their stay. The exclusive rate is up 13 percent from just two years ago. The increase is a result of considerable efforts to retrain staff, eliminate formula giveaways, prioritize skin-to-skin bonding between mother and baby, and educate pregnant women about the benefits of breastfeeding.

Malorie Thurman and Son

Why I Participate: By Parent Partner Malorie Thurman

Full Story Malorie Thurman, a mother of three, says she joined the Texas Ten Step Star Achiever Breastfeeding Learning Collaborative as a parent partner as a way to see that mothers are given the best possibility to experience the outcome they desire with their delivery. "This was my opportunity to give back to those who had been so helpful to me and my family. It is a wonderful feeling knowing you have been an intricate part of such amazing changes that will impact so many people in and around your community."

Caesarean Skin-to-skin Rate Improvements

Hospital Breaks Barriers for Cesarean Section Couplet

Full Story Incorporating system-level changes at hospitals to stop the separation of mother and baby post C-section has been a particularly challenging area for hospitals. But with months of coaching from NICHQ about how to implement system changes under their belt, nurses at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center knew a recent scenario was an opportunity for change.

Milk Bank Operations

Best Fed Beginnings Hospital Still Making Headlines: MUSC Opens First Milk Bank in South Carolina

Full Story Best Fed Beginnings alumni hospital Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) has launched a milk bank in South Carolina. The milk bank will provide breast milk to very low birth-weight babies (weighing less than 3.3 pounds) in neonatal intensive care units throughout the state.

Breastfeeding Projects and Teams in the News

Breastfeeding Projects and Teams in the News

Full Story Read national and local news coverage about NICHQ's breastfeeding projects and teams.

Breastfeeding Support Group

Making Breastfeeding Support a Community Affair

Full Story In Plattsburgh, a small town in upstate New York, creating a support group for breastfeeding mothers may have been driven by the local hospital, but it quickly became the community's baby.

Jeannette Crenshaw

A New Day Aborning for Childbirth

Full Story On Thanksgiving Day 2014, I received something brand new to be grateful for—the news that my first grand baby will be born in July. The first thing I did, after I cried and hugged everyone, was give my daughter and son-in-law the fall 2014 issue of the Journal of Perinatal Education: Advancing Normal Birth with the updated Lamaze Healthy Birth Practices, with supporting evidence, that promote safe and healthy birth.

Todd Wolynn

Advice from One MD to Another on Supporting Breastfeeding

Full Story By 1971, only one in five moms in the US even attempted to breastfeed. Formula had become the "norm" for infant feeding, and, in the process, we’d lost three generations of breastfeeders. The loss of this experience, from grandmother to mother to daughter, left a huge void in the natural teaching of the art. And the cruel irony of it all is that, in many instances, our healthcare system worked hand-in-hand with formula companies to create this loss.

Lilia Rodriguez

Why I Participate: By Parent Partner Lilia Rodriguez

Full Story Prior to our daughter, Selah, being born in 2013, I had many visits to the doctor’s office with concerns about medical issues. I was told we would have to wait and see how the delivery went: “You may require a scheduled C-section.” The first thought that raced through my mind was: I want to be alert to breastfeed my baby.

Veronica Hendrix

Improving Statewide Breastfeeding Rates through the Learning Collaborative Model

Full Story Texas is considered a national leader in its innovative use of breastfeeding initiatives. NICHQ recently spoke with Veronica Hendrix, program coordinator for the Texas Ten Step Program, to get her advice for other states seeking to increase breastfeeding rates.

Winthrop Hospital Is Baby-Friendly

Breastfeeding Collaboratives Provide Road Map for Long-Term Success

Full Story Increasing exclusive breastfeeding rates can seem like a lofty goal for some hospitals, particularly when rates hover below 20 percent. Several hospitals participating in NICHQ-led learning collaboratives found a path that not only brought double-digit growth, but also set the stage for Baby-Friendly designation. Now these hospitals are using best practices to sustain breastfeeding rates and improve outcomes in other clinical areas.

Asian woman holding a clipboard in the hospital

How to Spread Breastfeeding Best Practices from One Hospital to an Entire System

Full Story Some hospital systems are letting one or two pioneer hospitals seek out Baby-Friendly designation—then are using the knowledge to help improve and standardize maternity care practices across their entire system.

Tracy Erickson

Building Bridges and Tipping Silos: How WIC Is Working with Hospitals to Increase Breastfeeding in Texas

Full Story Tracy Erickson, WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator for the Texas Department of State Health Services, 
shares how Texas WIC agencies are working with hospitals to coordinate their efforts to support breastfeeding.

Lisa Mayberry

Why I Participate by Parent Partner Lisa Mayberry

Full Story Lisa Mayberry, a mother of four from Dallas, shares the story of what sparked her passion for breastfeeding, how it saved her son’s life and why she joined the Texas Ten Step Star Achiever Breastfeeding Learning Collaborative.

Working Towards Baby-Friendly Part 2

VIDEO: Working Toward Baby-Friendly [Part 2]

Full Story In this second installment, follow the story of two teams in NICHQ’s Best Fed Beginnings initiative as they take the final steps toward becoming Baby-Friendly designated.

Grandmother Power

Hospitals Taps Grandparents to Help Support Breastfeeding
Full Story Support from hospital staff, lactation consultants and the baby’s pediatrician is extremely important, but the strongest key to success for a new mom may be having the support of her family during this time, especially if she is struggling or feeling overwhelmed.
Mothers at Rockford Memorial Hospital (Rockford, Ill.) report feeling more supported by staff, due in part to its “rooming in” policy, where newborns stay in the mother’s room 24/7 instead of going to a nursery

Making the Business Case for Hospitals to Support Breastfeeding Moms

Full Story Hospitals that support a mother’s decision to breastfeed and pursue Baby-Friendly designation are finding that the effort holds unexpected benefits.

Formula in case

How to Determine Fair Market Value for Purchasing Formula

Full Story In order to be designated Baby-Friendly, hospitals must purchase formula at fair market value. But choosing to pay for formula is a trickier endeavor than some hospitals expect.

In addition to one-on-one counseling and a phone hotline, the Peer Dad program also hosts a Daddy Bootcamp that teaches basic infant care.

Fathers Hold Key to Breastfeeding Success

Full Story A woman's decision to breastfeed typically occurs long before labor and delivery—sometimes even before she is pregnant. But her commitment to carry through frequently hinges on the opinion of someone often overlooked in breastfeeding education—the baby's father.

Julie Stagg

How to Grow a Breastfeeding Initiative Local to Statewide

Full Story Julie Stagg, of the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), discusses how Texas has been able to make progress on improving statewide breastfeeding rates.

Breastfeeding app screenshot

Breastfeeding Education—Yes, There's An App for That
Full Story It may never be as popular as Angry Birds or Candy Crush, but one Ohio hospital is hoping to change the experience of breastfeeding education with a new app.
Breastfeeding baby

Breastfeeding Training Requires Creativity, Innovation

Full Story Educating staff is one of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, and hospitals are using creative and innovative strategies to make staff trainings as non-intrusive and fun as possible.

Kimarie Bugg

Confronting Cultural Barriers to Breastfeeding

Full Story Kimarie Bugg, MSN, MPH, a nurse practitioner who specializes in breastfeeding, works with Best Fed Beginnings hospitals in the southern US, an area of the country that has traditionally had lower breastfeeding rates. Bugg recently talked with NICHQ about the cultural barriers to breastfeeding many families face.

Leadership Engagement Is Critical

Leadership Engagement is Critical to the Success of Improvement Efforts

Full Story There’s no easy way around it: change is hard, and resistance to change comes in many forms. Oftentimes, proposed changes aren’t viewed as doable or as a priority. Regardless of the type of opposition, teams working on everything from breastfeeding support to sickle cell disease are finding ways to ensure leadership commitment to help overcome organizational resistance.

Erin Hamilton Spence

Hospitals Work Together to Improve Breastfeeding in Texas

Full Story As the Texas Breastfeeding Learning Collaborative wraps up its first phase, Erin Hamilton Spence, MD, reflects on how hospitals in her advisory group found success by working together.

Video - "Improving Breastfeeding Support through Milk Banks"

VIDEO: Improving Breastfeeding Support through Milk Banks

Full Story In this exclusive tour of the Mothers' Milk Bank of North Texas, NICHQ goes behind the scenes of a milk bank to learn why donation milk is so important to supporting breastfeeding.

Video - "Working Toward Baby-Friendly: Improving Breastfeeding Support in US Hospitals"

VIDEO: Working Toward Baby-Friendly [Part 1]

Full Story Follow the stories of four hospitals that have not yet achieved Baby-Friendly status as they begin their journey in NICHQ's Best Fed Beginnings quality improvement project.

Chart showing the increase in the rooming-in rate from July 2012 to March 2013 at Greenville Health System

Goodbye Nursery, Hello Rooming In
Full Story The traditional hub of maternity floors, the baby nursery, is getting a makeover. The nursery is transitioning from the central place for doctors to evaluate babies and families to ogle at newborns to a specialty care area that rarely is used.
Immediate Skin-to-Skin Contact Boosts Breastfeeding Rates

Immediate Skin-to-Skin Contact Boosts Breastfeeding Rates

Full Story Hospitals that put a newborn directly on a mother’s chest after birth, a practice known as skin-to-skin contact, are finding its helping new mothers be successful in their choice to breastfeed.

Texas Health Harris Methodist Southwest hospital

Hospital Staff, Leadership Support Critical to Breastfeeding Support

Full Story Texas Health Harris Methodist Southwest hospital is improving support for a mother’s choice to breastfeed. Its biggest coup? Getting all levels of staff and leadership on board.

No pacifier poster

Don’t Cry as Pacifiers Go Bye-Bye

Full Story In hospitals around the country the break-ups are happening. Pacifiers and babies are no longer being seen together. These once ubiquitous partners are now going their separate ways as hospitals are tossing pacifiers and other artificial teats following evidence that they can interfere with breastfeeding.

Formula in case

Paying for Formula Puts Hospitals in Control

Full Story Hospitals seeking to improve breastfeeding rates have found that formula companies are threatened by the potential loss of exposure for their brands in maternity units. This has made it particularly challenging for hospitals intent on paying for formula.

Slow and Steady Breastfeeding Education Wins Over Moms

Slow and Steady Breastfeeding Education Wins Over Moms

Full Story A three-pronged approach to patient education about the benefits of breastfeeding is resulting in one big win for hospitals and families—breastfeeding rates are going up.

Pamela Berens

A Big Solution for a Big State: How Texas is Improving Breastfeeding Rates

Full Story In Texas, only 13.7 percent of mothers are exclusively breastfeeding for six months. Pamela Berens, MD, talks about the specific challenges in bringing change to Texas.

Lori Feldman-Winter

Q&A with Dr. Lori Feldman-Winter

Full Story In this Q&A with Lori Feldman-Winter, MD, MPH, she discusses the reasons for why the US lags behind many other countries in long-term, exclusive breastfeeding.

Stony Brook University Hosptial Run Chart

How a Hospital Raised its Exclusive Breastfeeding Rates

Full Story Stony Brook Hospital has nearly 40 percent of mothers exclusively breastfeeding while in the hospital. And the hospital's overall breastfeeding rate is now a consistent 93 percent.

Amanda Ghent

Why I Participate: By Parent Partner Amanda Ghent

Full Story Amanda Ghent, a mother of two and a breastfeeding counselor in training, shares her personal experience of breastfeeding and story of advocacy.

Ann Siegle

Why I Participate: By Parent Partner Ann Siegle

Full Story Ann Siegle, a mother of two and CEO of Spoke8Marketing, shares her personal experience of breastfeeding and story of advocacy.

Gloria Carroll

Why I Participate: By Parent Partner Gloria Carroll

Full Story Gloria Carroll, a mother of two, shares how her search for knowledge and support from her family helped lead her to advocacy.

Kelly Maynard

Why I Participate: By Parent Partner Kelly Maynard

Full Story Kelly Maynard, a parent partner in the Best Fed Beginnings project, shares her personal experience of why having breastfeeding support was so crucial for her family.

Lindsay Fonseca

Why I Participate: By Parent Partner Lindsay Fonseca

Full Story Lindsay Fonseca, a mother of three, shares her story of advocating for breastfeeding support.

Michelle Moore

Why I Participate: By Parent Partner Michelle Moore

Full Story Michelle Moore, a parent partner in the Best Fed Beginnings project, shares the obstacles she faced when breastfeeding and how support from the hospital and community helped her.

Sarah Bedford

Why I Participate: By Parent Partner Sarah Bedford

Full Story One parent and active breastfeeding advocate, Sarah Bedford, shares how she’s seen hospital procedures change throughout her three children’s births.

Trang Neimetz

Why I Participate: By Parent Chair Trang Neimetz

Full Story Trang Neimetz, a mother of two, shares the story of what led her to join the Texas Breastfeeding Learning Collaborative as a Parent Chair to help improve breastfeeding in Texas.

Doris Cybert Wilcher and Sheila Donahue

Helping Hospitals Support Breastfeeding

Full Story Around 6 percent of the approximately 2,000 birthing faculties in the US are Baby Friendly certified and currently no state is fully Baby Friendly. NICHQ’s new national, two-year initiative called Best Fed Beginnings will help 90 hospitals take the steps necessary to become Baby-Friendly certified.