In January of 2011, the United States Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin released The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding, as a part of the Healthy People 2020 initiative launched almost ten years ago.
This call to action made breastfeeding support and maternal care a national priority. The program includes 89 hospitals with Texas and New York taking the lead. The twenty participating Texas hospitals, as a part of the Texas Ten Step Star Achiever Learning Collaborative that have stepped up to answer the call to launch programs to improve breastfeeding rates in Texas and have been seeing the most dramatic results.
Nationwide approximately 47% of children receive any amount of breastfeeding time by six months and about 17% of mothers exclusively breastfeed their children for the recommended 6 months. In Texas, the average for exclusive breastfeeding is a bit lower nearer 13%, due in part of lack of support for mothers and preparation in the hospital setting. Despite the increased benefits to infants including protection from a “host of health issues, including infant mortality, respiratory tract and ear infections, obesity, diabetes, and other issues”, women in the United States are finding it increasingly difficult to find the support needed to make the 6 month process a success.
The Texas Ten Step program is based on the WHO/UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospitals Initiative that provides training and support to hospitals and nursing staff to encourage the Best Fed Beginnings practices.
Congratulations to the twenty hospitals participating, and we look forward to seeing the programs results:
- Baylor All Saints Medical Center – Andrew’s Women’s Hospital, Fort Worth, Texas
- Baylor Medical Center at Carrollton, Carrollton, Texas
- Baylor Medical Center at McKinney, McKinney, Texas
- Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine, Grapevine, Texas
- Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas
- JPS Health Network, Fort Worth, Texas
- Medical Center Arlington, Arlington, Texas
- Medical Center of McKinney, McKinney, Texas
- Methodist Charleston Medical Center, Dallas, Texas
- Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, Mansfield, Texas
- North Hills Hospital, North Richland Hills, Texas
- Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital, Arlington, Texas
- Texas Health Harris Methodist Forth Worth, Fort Worth, Texas
- Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Hurst-Euless-Bedford, Bedford, Texas
- Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville, Stephenville, Texas
- Texas Health Harris Methodist Southwest, Fort Worth, Texas
- Texas Health Huguley, Fort Worth, Texas
- Texas Health Presbyterian Rockwall, Rockwall, Texas
- The Medical Center of Plano, Plano, Texas
- United Regional Health Care System, Wichita Falls, Texas
To learn more about the Texas Ten Step Star Achievers Program, visit here.
To view the Mothers Need Better Support Infographic, visit here.
To view supportive resources at the Breast Milk Counts Campaign, visit here.