Background and Objective:

Despite national recognition for their breastfeeding-friendly practices, many New Hampshire hospitals are still not achieving the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. To increase achievement of the Ten Steps in New Hampshire’s birthing hospitals, facilitate Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) designation for interested hospitals, and improve rates of in-hospital any and exclusive breastfeeding.

Methods:

After a 2010 needs assessment, we conducted 2 statewide workshops targeting 6 of the Ten Steps found to be most deficient among New Hampshire birthing hospitals. Eighteen of 20 hospitals attended at least 1 workshop, and 6 participated in an intensive collaborative. In 2013, we analyzed interval Ten Step achievement and in-hospital breastfeeding trends.

Results:

Staff education showed the greatest improvement, increasing step 2 achievement from 1 to 6 hospitals (P = .05). Although the number of hospitals implementing step 6 (breast milk only) and step 9 (no artificial nipples) increased, differences were not statistically significant. Intensive collaborative hospitals achieved an average of 1.5 new steps, whereas non–Baby Friendly hospitals lost 0.7 steps (P = .05). In-hospital breastfeeding rates increased in intensive collaborative hospitals and were significantly higher than those in non–Baby Friendly hospitals by the end of the study (any breastfeeding, 89% vs 73%, P = .03; exclusive breastfeeding, 84% vs 61%, P < .001).

Conclusions:

A statewide improvement collaborative facilitated increases in Ten Step achievement and in-hospital breastfeeding for hospitals participating in an intensive collaborative. Active work in Ten Step implementation, including staff education, appears to be more effective in increasing in-hospital breastfeeding than does BFHI designation alone.

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