Results of NICHQ Breastfeeding Initiative Featured in Pediatrics Journal

Posted June 07, 2017 by Cindy Hutter

Join NICHQ for a webinar with the paper's authors. They will share insights and analysis on the initiative’s major achievements, including driving 80 percent of participating hospitals to achieve “Baby-Friendly” status, and answer attendees questions.

August 2, 2017
noon to 1 p.m. EST 

Register for the
Webinar Today!

A report on the highly successful NICHQ-led Best Fed Beginnings initiative is featured in the June online edition of the prestigious Pediatrics journal. The piece, "Best Fed Beginnings: A Nationwide Quality Improvement Initiative to Increase Breastfeeding," features insights and analysis on the initiative’s major achievements, including driving 80 percent of participating hospitals to achieve “Baby-Friendly” status.

Starting in October 2011, NICHQ engaged 90 hospitals, using the principals of quality improvement, to make systemic changes to adopt the Ten Steps of Successful Breastfeeding, a requirement to achieve Baby-Friendly status. By April 2016:
  • 80 percent of participating hospitals were designated as Baby-Friendly
  • Best Fed Beginnings nearly doubled the number of Baby-Friendly designated hospitals in the U.S.
  • Exclusive breastfeeding rates increased 22 percent in participating hospitals
  • 218,000 more infants delivered each year at Baby-Friendly designated hospitals. 
“Best Fed Beginnings became a catalyst on the national level for creating hospital environments that support breastfeeding,” says Jennifer Ustianov, MS, BSN, RN, IBCLC, a senior director and perinatal lead at NICHQ. “We’ve now been able to spread the evidence-based methods and strategies in other state-based initiatives to get mothers and babies off to a healthy start.”

Adds Lori Feldman-Winter, MD, MPH, head of the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Cooper University, and professor of pediatrics at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, who served as national faculty chair for the initiative, “The results of this initiative are encouraging as more and more hospital strive to achieve Baby-Friendly status.” 

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program that was launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in 1991 to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding. It recognizes and awards birthing facilities who successfully implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.

The initiative was started in response to a low number of Baby-Friendly–designated hospitals in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded NICHQ to conduct a national quality improvement initiative called Best Fed Beginnings between 2011 and 2015. During this intervention period, data and outcomes measures were collected from the participating organizations and in-person, and web-based learning sessions and resources were made available.

By April 2016, a total of 72 (80 percent) of the participating hospitals received the Baby-Friendly designation, nearly doubling the number of designated hospitals in the United States. Participation in the Best Fed Beginnings initiative had significantly high correlation with designation compared with hospital applicants not in the program. In addition, overall breastfeeding increased from 79 percent to 83 percent at those institutions, and exclusive breastfeeding increased from 39 percent to 61 percent.

“Improving exclusive breastfeeding rates is no easy feat and something these hospitals should be very proud of,” says NICHQ CEO Scott D. Berns, MD, MPH, FAAP, “The progress made by these hospitals and the approach NICHQ used to support them can be viewed as models for other initiatives and facilities to create sustainable change and better support patients and families.”

Read more about the Best Fed Beginnings initiative and share your thoughts with us on Twitter @NICHQ.


Add your comment





QI quality improvement sustainabilty im coiin nichq preterm birth Baby-Friendly breastfeeding Pediatric journal Best Fed Beginnings infant health safe sleep tips PDSA cycle baby box infant mortality family engagement eccs coiin immunizations health equity health disparities accreditation astho onboarding collaboration engagement partnerships larc nashp new york wic new york state hospitals mom mother partners epilepsy data AAP early childhood pdsas texas community support learning session children's health new technology engineering transgender collaborative learning planning PDSA planning paralysis underplanning analysis paralysis vision eye health smoking smoke-free housing second-hand smoke toolkit e-module dental care oral health underserved populations health inequity public health Maternal and Child Health Journal leadership engagement Sickle cell disease indiana SCD medicaid perinatal regionalization sudden infant death syndrome national birth defects prevention month birth defects pregnancy planning one key question prepregnancy health preconception health public breastfeeding support families patients experts insights CHOPT childhood obesity innovation food desert telemedicine TBLC breastfeeding supporting prematurity racial disparities audiology ehdi follow-up illinois talana hughes vulnerable populations sports asthma soccer basketball obesity football SIDS Pokemon Go gamification smartphones interconception care birth spacing issue brief contraceptive use postpartum care CoIN HRSA early childhood trauma NHSA community health consumer advocacy womens health interconception health teenage health PATCH wisconsin missouri risk appropriate care community health workers SCD< infographic infant mortality awareness month inspirations childrens health national breastfeeding month maternal health patient engagement hearing loss hearing treatment pediatric vision vision screening eyesight pre-term birth early-term birth SCD clinic los angeles LOCATe CDC levels of care neonatal care maternal care smoking cessation project safe sleep practices neonatal abstinence syndrome NAS opioids maternal and child health MCH Family voices quality care mental health hydroxyurea SCDTDP men dads testing change data sharing state government city government apps sleep AJPM preconception care senior leadership breastfeeding support video series access BQIH exclusive breastfeeding long-acting reversible contraception unplanned pregnancies social determinants of health health innovations Best Babies Zone CoIIN baby boxes Rhode Island progesterone rooming-in parent partner patient and family engagement healthy weight healthy lifestyles primary care telementoring ECHO video conferencing socioemotional health childhood development pediatric Tennessee interview National Coordinating and Evaluation Center medical-legal partnerships mobile app disparities perinatal care overweight obese healthy weight clinic wellness pilot sites data collection education resources paternal engagement risk-appropriate care preterm infants high-risk babies Ten Steps public relations social movement reversible contraceptives medical home pediatric medical home patient transformation facilitator PTF skin-to-skin rooming in prenatal smoking information visualization charts SUID postpartum new mother webinar AMCHP QI Tips ongoing improvement fourth trimester partnership quality and safety coaching leadership support year end holiday message reflections gratitute Medicaid data doctor relationship PQC perinatal quality collaboratives vision care vision health evidence-based guidelines ASH health and wellness healthy living healthy eating home visitors home visiting programs March of Dimes APHA results evaluation supplementation formula reduction video infant loss social media advocacy leadership Berns Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding sustainability stress prenatal care data capacity epidemiologists surveillance data PFAC community partners preconception and interconception care motivational interviewing Native Americans ADHD NICHQ Vanderbilt Assessment Scale ADHD Toolkit system design care coordination skin to skin newborn screening reduce smoking aim statement safe birth Texas Ten Step skin-to-skin contact 10 Steps staff training small tests acute care mother-baby couplet collective impact population health preconception Newborn Screening Program substance abuse breast milk formula milk bank crisis first responders NYC improvement healthcare health system sickle cell diease treatment protocol family health partner maternity care Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network Health Outcomes Cross-Sector Collaboration Knowledge Sharing Child Health