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New Hampshire Takes Top Rank in the Nation for Maternity Practices That Support Breastfeeding
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Maternal and Child Health
Publish Date:
January 5, 2015

Concord, NH – New Hampshire has been ranked No. 1 in maternity practices that support infant nutrition and care since 2007, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) first started collecting birthing facility survey data. With all 50 U.S. states and some territories participating, New Hampshire has a lot to be proud of for scoring the top rank again. The Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) report highlights the hard work and commitment to excellence of many New Hampshire hospitals and birthing facilities working to support breastfeeding.

mPINC is a national survey from the CDC that assesses infant feeding care processes, facility policies, and staffing expectations in maternity care settings. The report summarizes results from 96% of the 24 eligible New Hampshire birthing facilities in 2013. It identifies opportunities to improve mother–baby care in order to improve New Hampshire breastfeeding rates.

"Breastfeeding is a public health priority," said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). "We congratulate the 7 New Hampshire hospitals with Baby Friendly status, as a testament to their dedication and commitment to supporting breastfeeding. The mPINC report is an excellent tool for highlighting areas of strength and opportunities for improvement within our birthing hospitals."

Hospitals are an important setting for supporting breastfeeding mothers and babies. The CDC reports that the percentage of hospitals providing breastfeeding support and advice, as well as prenatal instruction, has increased. In New Hampshire, the percentage of live births occurring at Baby Friendly facilities has increased from 16% in 2007 to 36% in 2014.

Despite the State's high scores in initiating breastfeeding at the hospital, rooming in, and hospital staff teaching new mothers about the benefits of breastfeeding and infant feeding cues, more work can be done around staff training. The mPINC report identified a weakness in training new staff and having a comprehensive breastfeeding policy for the facility.

The DHHS Division of Public Health Services (DPHS), WIC and Maternal and Child Health Programs, in collaboration with the New Hampshire Breastfeeding Task Force, New Hampshire Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, and Foundation for Healthy Communities received a $15,000 award to participate in an Association of State and Territorial Health Officers (ASTHO) Breastfeeding Learning Community, along with 19 other states. New Hampshire has chosen to focus on hospital practices that support breastfeeding.

"We are thrilled to have received this funding from ASTHO that will enable us to continue our NH Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding work with New Hampshire's birthing hospitals," said Dr. Bonny Whalen, Director of the Newborn Nursery at Dartmouth Hitchcock and NH Ten Steps project leader. "We intend to use this funding to further improve our State's already excellent perinatal support for breastfeeding through continued education and skill building of hospital nurses and physicians. Joyce Kelly, RN, BSN, MPH, and Lisa Lamadriz, RN, BS, IBCLC, are experienced, knowledgeable NH Ten Steps faculty who will lead this onsite education to help providers increase their evidence-based support for breastfeeding."

To assist breastfeeding mothers access all the great support services available at our New Hampshire hospitals, DPHS has launched a new online breastfeeding resource guide called zipmilk. The online resource includes hospital in-patient and out-patient services, support groups, WIC programs, LLL support groups, medical professionals, and lactation consultants. To view additional information visit www.zipmilk.org and enter your zip code.

For more information about New Hampshire’s efforts to support breastfeeding, visit www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/nhp/wic/breastfeeding.htm. To view the recent data on breastfeeding from the CDC, visit www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/data/reportcard. To view additional information on initiatives to support breastfeeding, visit www.nhbreastfeedingtaskforce.org and www.healthynh.com.

 
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