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Transforming a Care Delivery Model to Increase Breastfeeding

Magri, Eileen P. MSN, RN, NE-BC; Hylton-McGuire, Karen MS, RNC-NIC, IBCLC, RLC

MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing: May/June 2013 - Volume 38 - Issue 3 - p 177–182
doi: 10.1097/NMC.0b013e3182836af7
Feature: CE Connection

This article describes the process of changing the care delivery model for maternity practice in a New York State Regional Perinatal Center to support exclusive breastfeeding, defined as providing nothing other than human milk feedings. Barriers exist in hospitals that inhibit exclusive breastfeeding of newborns at the time of discharge and fail to meet the recommendations outlined by the World Health Organization and New York State Department of Health. All aspects of mother/baby care were evaluated to meet the recommendations and increase exclusive breastfeeding. Transforming the care delivery model for mothers and babies began in 2010 with an invitation to participate in the New York State Breastfeeding Quality Improvement in Hospitals Learning Collaborative. Twelve hospitals were selected to participate with the following objectives: increase exclusive breastfeeding; improve hospital breastfeeding policies, practices, and systems that are consistent with New York State hospital regulations, laws and recommended best practices; increase staff skills and knowledge of breastfeeding and lactation support through education; empower, educate, and support new mothers to successfully breastfeed and change the culture and social norm relative to breastfeeding. The transformation of the care delivery model resulted in an increase in exclusive breastfeeding from 6% to 44%.

Enhancements in nursing care that support breastfeeding can be accomplished through a systematic quality improvement process.

Eileen P. Magri is the Director of Nursing, Maternal Child Health, Department of Nursing, Winthrop University Hospital, Mineola, NY. She can be reached via e-mail at

Karen Hylton-McGuire is an NICU Lactation Educator, Department of Nursing, Winthrop University Hospital, Mineola, NY.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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