Methodist Dallas Medical Center announced that it 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.
Best Fed Beginnings seeks to boost breastfeeding rates by implementing a model for maternity services in U.S. hospitals that better supports a new mother’s choice to breastfeed. The National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality (NICHQ), with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is leading a nationwide effort in partnership with Baby-Friendly USA to help hospitals improve maternity care and increase the number of Baby-Friendly hospitals in the United States. Out of 235 applicants, only 90 hospitals were selected to participate in Best Fed Beginnings.
“Methodist Dallas Medical Center is delighted to have been chosen to participate in this important effort,” said Methodist Dallas President Laura Irvine, FACHE. “We look forward to partnering with the NICHQ, the CDC, and Baby-Friendly USA in order to support new mothers as they make decisions about how to care for their children.”
Methodist Dallas will work together with other selected hospitals in a 22-month learning collaborative to transform the hospital’s maternity care services in pursuit of a “Baby-Friendly” designation. This designation verifies that a hospital has comprehensively implemented the American Academy of Pediatrics-endorsed Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, as established in the WHO/UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.
Breastfeeding has multiple health benefits for both infants and mothers. For infants, it decreases the incidence and severity of many infectious diseases, reduces infant mortality, and supports neurodevelopment. It also decreases infants’ risk of becoming obese later in childhood. For mothers, breastfeeding decreases the risks of breast and ovarian cancers, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular disease. Although breastfeeding is one of the most effective preventive health measures for infants and mothers, half of U.S.-born babies are given formula within the first week, and by 9 months, only 31 percent of babies are breastfeeding at all.
About Methodist Health System
Guided by the founding principles of life, learning and compassion, Methodist Health System (Methodist) provides quality, integrated care to improve and save the lives of individuals and families throughout North Texas. Methodist Dallas Medical Center, Methodist Charlton Medical Center, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, Methodist Richardson Medical Center, Methodist Midlothian Health Center, and Methodist Family Health Centers are part of the nonprofit
Methodist Health System, which is affiliated by covenant with the North Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church. Additional information is available at www.methodisthealthsystem.org. Connect with them through Facebook, YouTube and Twitter at www.methodisthealthsystem.org/socialmedia.
About the CDC
CDC works 24/7 saving lives, protecting people from health threats, and saving money through disease prevention. Whether these threats are global or domestic, chronic or acute, curable or preventable, natural disaster or deliberate attack, CDC is the nation’s health protection agency.
Founded in 1999, the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality (NICHQ) is an action-oriented organization dedicated to achieving a world in which all children receive the high-quality health care they need. Led by experienced pediatric health care professionals, NICHQ’s mission is to improve children’s health by improving the systems responsible for the delivery of children’s health care. For more information, visit nichq.org.
About Baby-Friendly USA
The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to encourage and recognize hospitals and birthing centers that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother-baby bonding. The BFHI assists hospitals in giving mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies or feeding formula safely, and gives special recognition to hospitals that have done so. For more information, visit babyfriendlyusa.org.