Online Program

Massachusetts: Enabling Continuity of Care for Breastfeeding Support

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 4:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Roger A. Edwards, ScD, Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, MA
Massachusetts Department of Public Health used grant funds to improve the continuity of breastfeeding care and support for Massachusetts mothers by enhancing community-based post-discharge resources for women and their families. This goal was achieved using a “catalyst grant” mechanism to work with targeted communities to enrich or convene breastfeeding teams consisting of at least 3 community-based organizations, including at least one maternity hospital. Communities were involved in the Department's Mass in Motion initiative, which promotes the development and implementation of policies, systems and environmental change strategies in 52 cities and towns across the Commonwealth to support healthy eating and active living. Grants were provided to 6 breastfeeding continuity of care teams serving 16 Mass in Motion cities and towns, consisting of different partner agencies in different communities such as WIC, Healthy Families, the Visiting Nurse Association, Head Start, and the Early Intervention Partnership Program. The teams developed customized implementation plans with performance indicators in collaboration with MDPH and Northeastern University to provide education, peer mentoring, access to post-discharge care, and other supportive services to breastfeeding mothers in the communities. Support was planned for Baby Café™ pilot programs at Federally Qualified Community Health Centers, providing access to post-discharge breastfeeding support services to areas of greatest need. These programs were to be implemented in 3 additional Mass in Motion communities to address disparities by filling both demographic and geographic gaps not captured with the catalyst grants. Grant objectives also included collaboration with the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (MCAAP). A key outcome of this collaboration is the development and dissemination of a free, online continuing professional education module for pediatric providers to support breastfeeding families in the post-discharge period and improve their continuity of care.

Learning Areas:

Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify ways to adapt best practices for supporting breastfeeding mothers to local circumstances. Identify novel approaches for integrating breastfeeding support with other nutrition and physical activity programs to create healthier communities.

Keyword(s): Breastfeeding, Community Programs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conduct research and program evaluation related to breastfeeding and am part of the team implementing the Massachusetts project being presented. I have extensive knowledge about project and have worked in the field for over 10 years. I teach the required course in public health administration and policy as part of an accredited MPH program at Northeastern University. I have a ScD from the Harvard School of Public Health in Health Policy and Management.
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.