NH DHHS - NH Takes Top Rank in the Nation for Maternity Practices That Support Breastfeeding

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


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


“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 .