The DC Breastfeeding Friendly Hospital Initiative: A Summary

The DC Breastfeeding-Friendly Hospital Initiative is a project of the Coalition to evaluate the breastfeeding friendliness of the facilities that provide maternity services in Washington, DC. The project is funded by a contract with the Office on Women’s Health (OWH). Each of the 8 birthing facilities in the District participated in the baseline evaluation conducted in September 2008. The survey tools created for the Initiative were based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, criteria known to increase breastfeeding rates.

The evaluation process involved interviewing knowledgeable individuals within each facility about the breastfeeding practices and policies of the organization, analyzing components of written breastfeeding policies, and performing an in depth survey of the facility’s web site. Statistical analysis identified the facility with the most breastfeeding friendly website, policies and practices. The Coalition will review with each facility its performance in the evaluation and offer education specific to the needs of the institution to improve their facility’s support, promotion and protection of breastfeeding. Educational presentations will be offered to management/administrative staff, doctors and nursing staff, highlighting the role that each discipline will have in creating a more breastfeeding friendly environment The Coalition will create and distribute a reference book to each facility that will include strategies for becoming more breastfeeding friendly, sample breastfeeding policies, and a copy of the AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) Evidence Report on Breastfeeding, Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes.

The Coalition will then conduct post-intervention evaluations to assess any changes in each facility on their breastfeeding friendliness. The highest scoring facility with the most measurable change will be recognized. Completion of the project is projected to be August 2009.

The D.C Breastfeeding Coalition is committed to increasing the exclusive breastfeeding initiation rate and hopes to see a positive change in policy and practices to be more breastfeeding friendly as a result of this project and its intervention in facilities providing maternity services in Washington, D.C.

By Kathleen Logan, CPNP, IBCLC

P.O. Box 29214, Washington, DC 20017 • Tel 202-470-2732 • email

Medical Disclaimer: The information presented here is not intended to diagnose health problems, breastfeeding problems, or to take the place of professional medical care. If you have persistent breastfeeding problems, or if you have further questions, please consult your health care provider. The DC Breastfeeding Coalition does not share partnership with, or have any vested interest in, any of the businesses that may appear on this site, or sites that may be accessible by links herein contained.
Last Updated: June 2018