Online Program

Baby-friendly hospital initiative: Lessons learned from hospitals in Los Angeles County

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Holly Campbell, MPP, Research and Evaluation, First 5 LA, Los Angeles, CA
Loraine Park, MSW, Harder+Company Community Research, Los Angeles, CA
Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of breastfeeding for both babies and their mothers. Understanding that hospitals and birthing facilities play a key role in supporting mothers before, during, and after delivery, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nation Children's Fund (UNICEF) established the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative that encourages hospitals to follow “The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding”, practices that have been shown to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration.

The rate of exclusive breastfeeding reported by Los Angele County hospitals of 39.3% is markedly lower compared to the statewide rate of 56.6%. To address this issue, First 5 LA began supporting hospitals that were seeking Baby-Friendly designation in 2009. To date First 5 LA has provided support to 16 hospitals throughout Los Angeles County. The evaluation seeks to understand the challenges, achievements, and milestones that hospitals have experienced as they seek Baby-Friendly Hospital designation as well as hospital staff and patients' reactions to new baby-friendly practices. Evaluation methods include analysis of hospital administrative data, interviews with hospital staff, and focus groups with new mothers who delivered at a participating hospital. Preliminary findings indicate that hospitals seeking Baby-Friendly designation had to make significant organizational changes throughout the hospital among all levels of staff. Challenges, achievements, and best practices that hospitals experienced in implementing “The Ten Steps of Successful Breastfeeding Practices” will be described from the perspective of hospital administrators, nurses, and patients.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe the challenges that hospitals experienced implementing the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative and how these challenges were addressed. Identify trends observed in breastfeeding rates among participating hospitals. Describe patients and hospital staff’s reactions to baby-friendly practices.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working on the First 5 Los Angeles Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative for four years as the research analyst coordinating the evaluation. I created the evaluation framework and oversaw the contractor's data collection and analysis.
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.