CAMC Women and Children’s Hospital to participate in national breastfeeding initiative

CAMC Women and Children’s Hospital joins nine other hospitals in a new, hospital-based quality improvement collaborative to improve maternity care practices supportive of breastfeeding.

The program’s goal is to decrease racial inequities in hospital breastfeeding rates.

“West Virginia has consistently been ranked one of the lowest breastfeeding states in the United States,” said Elizabeth Copenhaver, MD, Pediatric Newborn Hospitalist. “This is unfortunate because breastfeeding is known to have lifelong positive health impacts for both mother and newborn. I am very excited to be one of the first 10 hospitals partnering with CHAMPS National beginning January 2024! Through this program the CAMC Women’s and Children’s faculty and staff will work together to improve the uninterrupted golden hour and rooming in practices to optimize the breastfeeding success rates for all patients.”

CHAMPS (Communities and Hospitals Advancing Maternity Practices) National is bringing together experienced partners specializing in racial equity and using a diverse team of maternal-child health and health equity experts to increase safe, equitable hospital practices, consistent with the WHO/UNICEF’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding (Ten Steps) initiative.

Along with CAMC Women and Children’s Hospital, the first 10 sites include six hospitals in Alabama, two in New Jersey, and one in Georgia.

United States’ breastfeeding rates are lowest among Black infants due, in part, to institutional racism and lack of quality, evidence-based prenatal and postpartum care. Breastfeeding-supportive, evidence-based maternity practices equitably applied increase hospital breastfeeding rates, especially in populations at the highest risk of not breastfeeding.

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