MCH Best. NPM 4: Breastfeeding
Strategy. Hospital Policies
Approach. Promote Baby Friendly policies for hospital systems across the state/jurisdiction.
Overview. Professional support that can be offered to new mothers appear to have a positive effect on their decision to breastfeed. Hospital policy change that increases reporting requirements such as Baby Friendly policies appear to have a positive effect on initiation of breastfeeding; evidence is mixed on their long-term impact on breastfeeding (duration and exclusivity).1
Evidence. Mixed Evidence. There is a mixture of both positive and inconclusive evidence on hospital policies and their influence on increasing breastfeeding initiation. However, this strategy still appears to trend positive across a range of studies. Access the peer-reviewed evidence through the MCH Digital Library. (Read more about understanding evidence ratings).
Target Audience. Provider/Practice.
Outcome. Initiation. For detailed outcomes related to each study supporting this strategy, click on the peer-reviewed evidence link above and read the "Intervention Results" for each study.
Examples from the Field. There are currently 19 ESMs across all states/jurisdictions that use this strategy directly or intervention components that align with this strategy. Access descriptions of these ESMs through the MCH Digital Library. You can use these ESMs to see how other Title V agencies are addressing the NPM.
Sample ESMs. Using the approach “Promote Baby Friendly policies for hospital systems across the state/jurisdiction,” here are sample ESMs you can use as a model for your own measures using the Results-Based Accountability framework (for suggestions on how to develop programs to support this strategy, see The Role of Title V in Adapting Strategies):
Note. ESMs become stronger as they move from measuring quantity to measuring quality (moving from Quadrants 1 and 3, respectively, to Quadrants 2 and 4) and from measuring effort to measuring effect (moving from Quadrants 1 and 2, respectively, to Quadrants 3 and 4).
1 Strauch, J., Rohrer, J. E., & Refaat, A. (2016). Increased hospital documentation requirements may not increase breastfeeding among first‐time mothers. Journal of evaluation in clinical practice, 22(2), 194-199.