Overcoming Obstacles to Become a Baby Friendly Hospital
Version of Record online: 11 JUN 2013
© 2013 AWHONN, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing
Special Issue: 2013 Convention Proceedings
Volume 42, Issue s1, pages S38–S39, June 2013
How to Cite
Peters, L. (2013), Overcoming Obstacles to Become a Baby Friendly Hospital. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 42: S38–S39. doi: 10.1111/1552-6909.12105
- Issue online: 11 JUN 2013
- Version of Record online: 11 JUN 2013
- Baby Friendly initiatives;
- customer satisfaction
Purpose for the Program
Achieving Baby Friendly designation is supported by the following: Healthy People's 2020 objective to increase exclusive breastfeeding of mothers during the early postpartum period, the February 2012 American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation that mothers exclusively breastfeed their infants for the first 6 months after birth; and the Joint Commission's perinatal core measure for exclusive breastfeeding while in the hospital.
To implement Baby Friendly Initiatives and continue to revise practices to meet updated guidelines to maintain Baby Friendly designation.
Implementation, Outcomes, and Evaluation
Baby Friendly components can be met with resistance from staff and physicians. Baby Friendly requires that staff reverse ideas, such as sending infants to the nursery so that mothers can sleep, offering supplementation of formula until lactation is established, using pacifiers to satisfy suckling, and keeping mothers and healthy infants apart during medical procedures. Becoming Baby Friendly often demands a change in practice toward family-centered care. The program teaches breastfeeding skills to mothers, supports skin-to-skin contact after birth, promotes rooming-in as standard of care for healthy infants, and offers breastfeeding resources upon discharge.
Myths and obstacles of Baby Friendly practice can present obstacles to implementation. The most common myths are that mothers will not have a choice in how to feed their infant, hospital cost will increase significantly, and the requirement of staff education will be difficult to meet. Obstacles to meeting the Baby Friendly goals include supplying consistent information to parents and staff regarding breastfeeding, keeping moms and infants together with rooming-in as standard of care, and changing practice to meet skin-to-skin contact requirements.
Customer satisfaction measured before and after implementation of Baby Friendly practices to the question “I learned how to feed my baby properly” demonstrated a significant increase. This same result is reflected in the perinatal care core measure of exclusive breastfeeding.
Implications for Nursing Practice
Many changes to current practice were implemented to meet the Baby Friendly Initiative guidelines. Though these were initially perceived as obstacles, they are now part of every day practice and have not only increased patient satisfaction, but have increased nursing satisfaction as well.