To address breastfeeding rates that were below the state and regional averages, the maternity center at Mohawk Valley Health System participated in the New York State Breastfeeding Quality Improvement in Hospitals Learning Collaborative.
Through the Collaborative, Mohawk Valley Health System assessed its current breastfeeding policies and made evidence-based changes. A team consisting of maternity and nursery physicians and nurses, lactation staff, quality improvement, and a recent maternity patient developed a breastfeeding policy based on the Baby Friendly Initiative’s “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.” Education on the policy and access to an 18-hour online breastfeeding course is provided to staff, and nurse champions assist them with the changes.
As a result, infants exclusively fed breastmilk improved from 41% over the first 28 months to 54% over the past 20 months. Infants born via caesarean section breastfed within the first two hours of life increased from 64% in the first 24 months to 92% in the past 24 months. Additionally, the organization met and sustained its goal of 90% every month since September 2013.