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Rhode Island Birthing Facilities Among the Best in the Nation for Infant Nutrition and Care

New survey results show that Rhode Island ranks third in the nation for hospital support provided to new mothers and babies while they're learning to breastfeed. Rhode Island achieved an overall score of 86 out of 100 in the 2013 Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) Survey from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The survey assesses infant feeding care processes, policies, and staffing expectations in maternity care settings. The report summarizes results from all facilities in Rhode Island that participated in the 2013 mPINC Survey and identifies opportunities to improve mother-baby care at hospitals and birth centers and related health outcomes throughout Rhode Island. All six birthing hospitals in Rhode Island participated in the 2013 survey: Kent Hospital, Landmark Medical Center, Memorial Hospital, Newport Hospital, South County Hospital, and Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island. Rhode Island's strengths include provision of breastfeeding advice and counseling (100% of the facilities provide breastfeeding advice and instructions to patients who are breastfeeding or intend to breastfeed) and availability of prenatal breastfeeding instruction (100% of the facilities include breastfeeding education as a routine component of their prenatal classes). Breastfeeding provides optimal infant nutrition and is associated with lower risks of infant disease, infant death, and maternal death. "We are thrilled to see Rhode Island's birthing hospitals and birth centers leading the nation in the care and support they provide to breastfeeding women and babies," said Director of Health Michael Fine, MD. "We are working with all birthing hospitals and healthcare providers to make it clear that 'breast is best.' We also know that there is much more we can do to improve the support available to all families—during pregnancy, in the hospital, and after birth." Change opportunities range from strengthening hospital data collection systems to establishing stronger links between maternity facilities and community breastfeeding support networks. For example, women can get free professional breastfeeding education, advice, and support—and the chance to connect with other breastfeeding families— through the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and Family Visiting programs across Rhode Island, and through a new weekly meet-up group in Providence's Olneyville neighborhood called the "RI Baby Café." For more information, see www.health.ri.gov/breastfeeding/for/pregnantwomenandnursingmothers

For more information about the mPINC survey, see www.cdc.gov/mpinc


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