State of Tennessee Launching Breastfeeding Campaign

The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH), Tennessee Initiative for Perinatal Quality Care (TIPQC) and the THA Tennessee Center for Patient Safety are working together on a breastfeeding public relations campaign, which will be launched with a news release today. The campaign includes print ads in the regional Parents Magazinepublications, posters for providers and social media. Breastfeeding posters will be distributed to all Tennessee birthing hospitals, obstetricians, pediatricians and other entities in an effort to increase the rate and duration of breastfeeding statewide.

The breastfeeding campaign is part of a larger five-year initiative funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to improve breastfeeding rates and increase  Tennessee’s score on the CDC Survey of Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC), which assesses infant feeding care processes, policies and staffing expectations in maternity care settings. While Tennessee’s mPINC score for 2013 improved to 67 of a possible 100 points, the state ranks 49th in the country. THA, with the coalition partners, will address opportunities identified from the survey through collaborative provider education, lactation training for staff, hospital mentoring and consumer-focused education.

In the past, Tennessee hospitals have worked very hard with THA and TDH to improve the viability of Tennessee’s babies. Working together, there have been some remarkable successes, such as significantly reducing early elective deliveries and providing materials to new mothers about the safe sleep project.

Hospitals are encouraged to increase the number of mothers who are willing to breastfeed their babies by participating in this campaign. Collaborating with the state on this project hopefully will yield similar success for all of Tennessee’s newborns.

The campaign’s website, www.healthytennesseebabies.com, will provide additional information.

Hospitals that have questions should contact Chris Clarke at THA, 615-256-4803.