Mother Partners: Promoting Patient-Centered Policies to Support Breastfeeding

Posted March 28, 2017 by Sarah Cohen

Asian Mother Nursing Her Baby While Lying Down
Specific techniques can help ensure that in-person and remote audiences can learn. 

To improve breastfeeding rates, hospitals throughout New York State are implementing the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, which include evidence-based practices such as skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby immediately after birth and a baby staying in a mother’s hospital room instead of a nursery (referred to as rooming-in). But to ensure that these best practices are being implemented in a way that truly benefit the mom-baby couplet, hospitals are tapping moms to be part of their change implementation teams.

National rates of exclusive breastfeeding for infants at 6 and 12 months remain as low as 40.7 percent and 18.8 percent respectively, despite the known benefits of breastfeeding for both infants and mothers. Mother partners and hospital teams work together in the New York State Breastfeeding Quality Improvement in Hospitals (BQIH) Collaborative to create better patient experiences so moms are empowered to make their own breastfeeding decision and remain committed long after they leave the hospital.

Mother partners play a key role in guiding how initiatives are communicated to new mothers and offering insight into the social context and individual obstacles that families carry with them into the delivery room. Specifically, mother partners have been influential in preparing training scripts for nurses about how to handle requests for formula from mothers with empathy and an educational focus.

“Staff attitudes can make or break breastfeeding success,” says Rebekka Henriksen, the mother partner faculty for the BQIH Collaborative. “It’s up to the hospital staff to skillfully communicate infant feeding options so that mothers don’t end up feeling shamed or judged, which can lead to resentment and rejection of breastfeeding.”

Presentations from mother partners about their personal breastfeeding journeys and lessons learned help staff understand how families interpret hospital policies. Julia Irvine, the mother partner for Crouse Hospital in Syracuse, recently gave a presentation about the profound impact healthcare providers’ own education and behavior can have on a mother’s decision to breastfeed and how long she continues to do so. For Irvine, having an exceptionally supportive provider after her second daughter was born with a congenital condition was the key to her breastfeeding success.

“The hospital should be both safe for mothers who have high-risk deliveries and supportive of setting up a breastfeeding relationship early on,” says Irvine.

Prenatal Education and Postpartum Support
In addition to efforts to address communication in the hospitals, mother partners have been instrumental in noting gaps in prenatal education. Irvine observes that “there is room for improvement for mothers who weren’t given a lot of information about breastfeeding prenatally.” Disseminating adequate information on hospital policy adjusts how families think about their stay.

“When they’re informed about new policies and their benefits, families come into the facility expecting skin-to-skin, 24-hour rooming in, and no pacifiers, rather than having that be sprung on them,” Henriksen says.

While hospitals are working to improve communication with moms who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant in the near future, they’ve also used this opportunity to improve postpartum practices for new moms. Breastfeeding support groups are being used to help fill that gap and educate mothers after they’ve been discharged.

“Peer sharing can really resonate more with families than hearing it from staff members,” Henriksen comments.

Henriksen has seen a “rippling out effect” of change in breastfeeding support because of the collaborative. Policy changes have trickled down as far as the emergency room, where breastfeeding resources, contact sheets, and referrals to lactation consultants are much more readily available than pacifiers or formula. Mother partners have played a key role in the successes of the collaborative thus far and will continue to provide feedback and share their stories until, as Henriksen envisions, “all facilities are putting the patient experience at the center of their care and staff is fully trained to support families in meeting their breastfeeding goals.”

Share:

Add your comment

 
 

 

Archive

Tagcloud

qi collaboration engagement partnerships larc im coiin nichq nashp breastfeeding new york wic quality improvement onboarding new york state hospitals mom mother partners epilepsy data AAP early childhood eccs coiin pdsas texas community support learning session infant mortality children's health new technology engineering transgender collaborative learning planning PDSA planning paralysis underplanning analysis paralysis vision eye health smoking smoke-free housing second-hand smoke toolkit e-module infant health dental care oral health underserved populations health inequity public health Maternal and Child Health Journal tips leadership engagement Sickle cell disease indiana SCD medicaid perinatal regionalization safe sleep sudden infant death syndrome national birth defects prevention month birth defects pregnancy planning one key question prepregnancy health preconception health public breastfeeding support family engagement families patients experts insights CHOPT childhood obesity innovation food desert telemedicine TBLC breastfeeding supporting preterm birth prematurity racial disparities audiology ehdi follow-up illinois talana hughes vulnerable populations sports asthma soccer basketball obesity football SIDS Pokemon Go gamification smartphones interconception care birth spacing issue brief contraceptive use postpartum care CoIN HRSA early childhood trauma NHSA community health consumer advocacy womens health interconception health teenage health PATCH wisconsin missouri risk appropriate care community health workers SCD< infographic infant mortality awareness month inspirations childrens health national breastfeeding month maternal health patient engagement hearing loss hearing treatment pediatric vision vision screening eyesight pre-term birth early-term birth SCD clinic los angeles LOCATe CDC levels of care neonatal care maternal care smoking cessation project safe sleep practices neonatal abstinence syndrome NAS opioids maternal and child health MCH Family voices quality care mental health hydroxyurea SCDTDP men dads testing change data sharing state government city government apps sleep AJPM preconception care senior leadership breastfeeding support video series health equity health disparities access BQIH exclusive breastfeeding long-acting reversible contraception unplanned pregnancies social determinants of health health innovations Best Babies Zone CoIIN baby boxes Rhode Island progesterone rooming-in Baby-Friendly parent partner patient and family engagement healthy weight healthy lifestyles primary care telementoring ECHO video conferencing socioemotional health childhood development pediatric Tennessee interview National Coordinating and Evaluation Center medical-legal partnerships mobile app disparities perinatal care overweight obese healthy weight clinic wellness pilot sites data collection education resources paternal engagement risk-appropriate care preterm infants high-risk babies Ten Steps public relations social movement reversible contraceptives medical home pediatric medical home patient transformation facilitator PTF skin-to-skin rooming in prenatal smoking information visualization charts SUID postpartum new mother webinar AMCHP QI Tips ongoing improvement fourth trimester partnership quality and safety coaching PDSA Cycle leadership support year end holiday message reflections gratitute Medicaid data doctor relationship PQC perinatal quality collaboratives vision care vision health evidence-based guidelines ASH health and wellness healthy living healthy eating home visitors home visiting programs March of Dimes APHA results evaluation supplementation formula reduction video infant loss social media advocacy leadership Berns Best Fed Beginnings Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding sustainability stress prenatal care data capacity epidemiologists surveillance data PFAC community partners preconception and interconception care motivational interviewing Native Americans ADHD NICHQ Vanderbilt Assessment Scale ADHD Toolkit system design care coordination skin to skin newborn screening ASTHO reduce smoking aim statement safe birth Texas Ten Step skin-to-skin contact 10 Steps staff training small tests acute care mother-baby couplet collective impact population health preconception Newborn Screening Program substance abuse breast milk formula milk bank crisis Huffington Post fundraising campaign first responders NYC improvement healthcare health system sickle cell diease treatment protocol family health partner maternity care Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network Health Outcomes Cross-Sector Collaboration Knowledge Sharing Child Health