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.

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.

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.

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.

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.