The Best Start for Baby’s Brain
Prioritize Baby Brain Food
Among the many benefits of breastfeeding for babies—reduced risk of diabetes, asthma, obesity, and some cancers, to name a few—is healthy brain development. Studies show that breastfeeding supports early neurodevelopment in both full and preterm populations, which sets the stage for future success at school and throughout life. Hospitals play a critical role in helping mothers achieve their breastfeeding goals.
Learn how two New York State hospitals shifted their culture to better support breastfeeding during a multi-year quality improvement initiative to improve infant nutrition and health.
Build Social Emotional Skills
During the early years of life, when neurons are rapidly firing, children’s social emotional skills are developing right alongside their cognitive capabilities. These skills are critical for their healthy future because they help children experience and express human emotions, empathize and get along with others, and build healthy relationships. In this short video, four experts define and explore social emotional development, and the impact of early relationships and experiences.
Explore in Safe Environments
Environmental toxins can adversely affect a child’s rapidly developing brain, beginning even before birth. Health improvement initiatives can set children on a course for a healthier future by promoting safe toxin-free environments where they can grow, learn and explore.
- Read a story that illustrates why better provider education about lead poisoning can improve state systems of care that support healthier home environments
- Find out how home visiting is changing asthma outcomes in Florida
- Learn about an initiative seeking to improve healthcare environments for vulnerable newborns
Be a Children's Health Change Agent
Like you, we have a shared passion for improving the health of every child in every state across the country. Join us in our mission. Take action to make a difference for children now and in the decades to come:
- Donate. Give a gift that supports NICHQ’s initiatives that touch millions of children’s lives. Every dollar raised benefits the health and well-being of children.
- Sign up. Join our network of thousands of other subscribers. We deliver resources, articles and webinars right to your inbox so that we can drive change in children’s health outcomes together.
- Spread the word about children’s health initiatives, advocacy and the stories that inspire systems-level change. Share our monthly message on Facebook and Twitter.
What People Are Saying
NICHQ fosters a collaborative process, not a dictatorial process. You allow us to build success in our community and not try to push any one strategy or model on us. You guide, collaborate and share, but you don’t steer.
Working with NICHQ, I have been able to assist communities all over New York State with their breastfeeding care efforts. The NICHQ staff is experienced, organized and thorough, ensuring each interpersonal interaction is maximally engaging and productive. Because of the way change efforts are organized, I find myself learning new procedural and educational techniques, and even more about my own field! Thanks to NICHQ for including me on this interesting ride.
For me, NICHQ is uniquely positioned to support complex, system-based efforts to improve child health and healthcare, locally and on a national scale. NICHQ helped my teams succeed by supporting collaboration, information management, and continuous learning. With NICHQ's help, the whole of our work was much greater than the sum of each of our individual efforts!
Participation in this project has uncovered new desires for me personally, and for our hospital and community. We are making progress in the little and big things, and changing the way a baby is welcomed into the world step by step. I am so thankful for the Best Fed Beginnings team, the opportunity to gain insight from other hospitals, and the chance to serve with my local hospital. With the drive of this collaborative, we can change the health of our world, one baby at a time.
I'm passionate about early identification and connection to services and supports for children and families because we know acting early makes a difference. When I learned that the ECCS CoIIN leverages collaboration, innovation and quality improvement methods to improve early childhood systems, I was thrilled to get involved. There is a great focus on parent engagement too, so I was really happy to join the team and be a part of this great work.
Being involved with NICHQ has been a career-changing and life-altering experience in many ways. Quality improvement methodology is not additive to my work, it influences how I do my daily work.
Participating in NICHQ's Improving Children's Vision project has facilitated a rich opportunity to pursue robust quality improvement strategies to enhance early childhood vision health in Wyoming. [We] appreciate the expertise provided by the leadership team and the opportunity to share ideas and feedback with other states in the Collaboratory.
I want to tell you how much I have enjoyed and learned from all of you at NICHQ. You are enthusiastic, supportive, smart and FUN. You have talked me off the ledge many times when I wanted to quit. You are true leaders and passionate about what you do.
Being a parent partner for NICHQ ...has been a pure honor. I would encourage anyone that has the opportunity to work on a NICHQ project to take advantage of it. Working with them has opened many doors for me in the medical field.
NICHQ has really supported our work by formalizing a process to do PDSA cycles, report and track how our progress is doing. As a data person, CoLab has been really instrumental in terms of gathering the data and tracking it over time.