177791 Use of newborn screening infant feeding data to promote policy change in California hospitals

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

M. Jane Heinig, PhD, IBCLC , Human Lactation Center, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA
Jennifer Leigh Ba˝uelos, BS , Human Lactation Center, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA
Karen Farley, RD, IBCLC , California WIC Association, Sacramento, CA
Laurie True , California WIC Association, Sacramento, CA
Roberta Gonzalez-Dow, MPH, RD , California WIC Association, Sacramento, CA
Karen Peters, MBA RD IBCLC , Breastfeeding Task Force of Greater Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, CA
Breastfeeding initiation in California hospitals has increased in the last decade to more than 86% of new mothers (2006). However, in-hospital exclusive breastfeeding rates have remained virtually unchanged. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Genetic Disease Screening Program collects infant feeding information as part of the newborn screening. Annually, these data are made available to the public but have been little utilized. Methods: In an effort to promote model hospital policies shown to increase exclusive breastfeeding, the UC Davis Human Lactation Center, the California WIC Association (CWA), and the California Breastfeeding Coalition collaborated on two annual policy briefs and associated media outreach. The reports focused on associations between exclusive breastfeeding and maternal child health and compared hospitals' rates of supplementation of breastfed infants through the use of graphs, county rankings, and lists of the highest and lowest performing hospitals in the state. Press releases, talking points and conference calls were used to prepare coalitions for media inquiries. Results: The reports and fact sheets generated attention in major media markets throughout California resulting in efforts to change policies by many California hospitals. Technical assistance for this process was provided by state agencies, CWA, and some coalitions. Discussion: Use of policy briefs and media reports comparing hospital supplementation rates of breastfed infants was effective in creating momentum for policy change in California hospitals. Since the first report was released in 2006, 6 hospitals have become Baby-Friendly and others have sought technical assistance in adopting model policies from state and local entities.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe at least 3 hospital policies that impact in-hospital breastfeeding rates. 2. Identify steps taken to increase awareness about newborn screening data. 3. Describe why the availability of support and assistance was crucial to this project.

Keywords: Breast Feeding, Hospitals

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the main author on the report being presented
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.