AHRQ’s Innovations Exchange Focuses on Innovative Approaches To Promote Breastfeeding
The latest issue of AHRQ’s Health Care Innovations Exchangefeatures three programs that used various approaches to promote breastfeeding. One of the featured profiles describes Latch On NYC, a citywide initiative of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene that asks public and private maternity hospitals to make concrete commitments to support mothers who choose to breastfeed and eliminate practices that interfere with that choice. Participating hospitals must put in place policies to ensure compliance with state regulations. Hospitals also must implement systems for tracking and storing formula, discontinue distribution of free infant formula and prohibit the display and distribution in the hospital of promotional materials for formula. Preliminary data suggest that the program has resulted in an increase in the number of women choosing to breastfeed exclusively during their hospital stay, an important determinant for exclusive breastfeeding after discharge. About 73 percent of the city’s maternity hospitals participate in the Latch On NYC program.
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