NH DHHS - NH Ranks #1 in Newly Released Breastfeeding Survey Results

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS) is pleased to announce that the recently released 2011 Maternity

Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) Survey results from the

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranks New Hampshire as #1

for the fifth straight year in perinatal care. The survey results describe

specific opportunities for hospitals and birth centers in New Hampshire to

more successfully meet national quality of care standards for perinatal

care and breastfeeding support.

The positive survey results are due largely to the efforts of the New

Hampshire Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding Program. This is a

statewide quality improvement (QI) health care initiative made up of New

Hampshire physicians and healthcare professionals that aims to increase the

level of breastfeeding support provided to new mothers and their infants

throughout the state of New Hampshire. The New Hampshire Ten Steps program

has led two statewide learning collaborative workshops on the Ten Steps to

Successful Breastfeeding and the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative. The

Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global initiative of the

World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund

(UNICEF). Almost all New Hampshire birthing hospitals have been involved

in the collaborative to date; 4 of New Hampshire’s 21 birthing hospitals

are currently Baby Friendly designated and others are actively working on

this process.

New Hampshire’s Ten Steps Program is led by Dr. Bonny Whalen, Dartmouth

Hitchcock Medical Center, Dr. Alison Holmes, Concord Hospital, and Joyce

Kelly, RN, MPH, Project Coordinator, and aims to:

• Increase the level of evidence-based breastfeeding support provided

to mothers and infants.

• Decrease the use of non-medically indicated formula supplementation

during the first few days of a newborn's life.

• Increase the rate of exclusive breastmilk feeding at newborn

discharge throughout the State.

“We are excited to see the results of the 2011 mPINC survey,” said Dr.

Whalen. “Many New Hampshire birthing facilities have been working very hard

over the past 2 years to improve their infant nutrition and care practices

with the support and help of the NH Ten Step Project.”

New Hampshire’s strengths are availability of prenatal breastfeeding

instruction in prenatal classes and documentation of mother’s feeding

decision, with staff consistently asking and recording infant feeding

decisions. Even with the #1 ranking by the CDC mPINC survey, New Hampshire

still has work to do, particularly in areas such as inclusion of model

breastfeeding policy elements and use of combined mother–baby postpartum

care. The national breastfeeding goals and benchmarks set by the U.S.

Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, Healthy People

2020 and the Joint Commission provide the ultimate targets for public

health work. Successful breastfeeding begins with the support of families,

healthcare providers, employers, and communities.

“Breastfeeding provides many health benefits to the mother and baby that

last a lifetime,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS.

“So it is important that we continue to partner with healthcare providers,

community organizations, and families to provide breastfeeding support

right from the start.”

DHHS’ Division of Public Health Services has multiple initiatives and

programs focused on supporting, protecting, and promoting breastfeeding for

New Hampshire’s most vulnerable families. These programs include the Women,

Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program, WIC’s Breastfeeding Peer

Counseling Program, Maternal and Child Health programs, and the Obesity

Prevention Program.

For more information on breastfeeding initiatives in New Hampshire, visit

the DHHS website at www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/nhp/wic/breastfeeding.htm  and the

New Hampshire Breastfeeding Task Force at

http://nhbreastfeedingtaskforce.org. For more information on the NH Ten

Steps project please contact Dr. Bonny Whalen at (603) 653-6081.

The mPINC Survey results is one of the topics DHHS is focusing on this week

in recognition of National Public Health Week; for more information go to