Breastfeeding Support: A National Priority

Perinatal support of breastfeeding is the focus of several national initiatives that call hospitals to evaluate and improve their birth practices:

Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding Mothers
The U.S. Surgeon General encourages the health-care sector to help make breastfeeding easier for moms, beginning with ensuring that maternity care practices are fully supportive of breastfeeding.

Healthy People 2020
The United States Department of Health and Human Services Healthy People 2020 establishes breastfeeding as a national public health priority. National objectives aim to increase rates of breastfeeding initiation, duration, and exclusivity; increase the proportion of employers who have worksite lactation support programs; reduce the proportion of breastfed newborns receiving formula supplementation within the first two days of life; and increase the proportion of live births that occur in facilities that provide recommended care for lactating mothers.

Joint Commission
The Joint Commission encourages families to make informed decisions about infant feeding. The Commission’s Speak Up™ education campaign empowers families to request specific, evidence-based practices that improve breastfeeding success. Birth facilities are asked to report exclusive breastmilk feeding rates at discharge as one of five evidence-based measures included in the Joint Commission’s Perinatal Care Core Measure Set.

National Quality Forum
The National Quality Forum (NQF) was created to develop and implement a national strategy for health-care quality measurement and reporting to improve national health-care policy. The NQF National Consensus Standards for Perinatal Care include the quality care performance measure of exclusive breastfeeding throughout the hospital stay and at discharge for all live births not discharged from the NICU.

CDC Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) Survey
To support achievement of our nation’s Healthy People 2020 objectives, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) administers the biennial mPINC survey to all U.S. hospitals and birth centers that provide maternity care. Participating facilities receive individualized benchmark reports detailing the facility’s quality practice rank scores for performance measures in seven maternity care practice domains. Rationale, explanations, and suggested areas for improvement are provided to support facilities to establish evidence-based infant feeding and care practices.

Download the 2009-mPINC-Survey (pdf)

CDC- 2011 mPINC Survey- Texas results