Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island has been selected to participate in Best Fed Beginnings, a first-of-its-kind national effort to significantly improve breastfeeding rates in states where rates are currently the lowest. Rhode Island ranks 35th in the nation for breastfeeding initiation. Women & Infants is the only hospital in New England to be selected for this collaborative.
Although breastfeeding is one of the most effective preventive health measures for infants and mothers, half of US-born babies are given formula within the first week, and by nine months, only 31% of babies are breastfeeding at all. Best Fed Beginnings seeks to reverse these trends by dramatically increasing the number of US hospitals implementing a proven model for maternity services that better supports a new mother's choice to breastfeed. The National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality (NICHQ) is leading the effort through a cooperative funding agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and will be working closely with Baby-Friendly USA, Inc.
"Women & Infants Hospital is very proud to have been chosen to participate in this important effort and to have the opportunity to improve our maternity care services to better support breastfeeding," said Angelleen Peters-Lewis, RN, PhD, senior vice president of Patient Care Services. "We recognize that for women who plan to breastfeed, the hospital experience strongly influences a mother's ability to start and continue breastfeeding. We are committed to implementing evidence-based care through the Baby-Friendly designation process. This will ensure that mothers delivering in our facility who intend to breastfeed are fully supported."