By Mercy's Madelynn Innes
Good health starts at birth, and it’s well known that maternity practices and support of breastfeeding impact a child’s health all the way through adulthood as well as a mother’s health. Over the last two years, Mercy Hospital Springfield has made dramatic changes to focus on providing best-practice, family centered maternity care, and the most recent evaluation from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that our changes are successful.
Every two years, the CDC administers a national survey of maternity care practices and policies related to breastfeeding, known as the Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) Survey. Since 2007, the survey has been administered biannually to examine a facility’s strengths over time, as well as areas that need improvement. Higher scores denote better practices and policies.
“Our most recent score gives Mercy reason to celebrate,” explained Dr. Tamara Fusco, medical director of lactation services. “With the highest possible score being 100, our 2013 composite quality practice score is 98.”
This gives us a percentile ranking of 98 when compared with all facilities in Missouri. We also received a percentile ranking of 99 when compared with similar sized facilities across the nation with similar births per year.
In 2011, our composite quality practice score was 67. Since then, we’ve initiated skin-to-skin after a baby’s birth, stopped separating healthy babies and mothers and provided 20 hours of training for our mother/baby nurses on breastfeeding assistance.
“Congratulations to Mercy’s amazing lactation team and staff of Mother/Baby Services. Through your dedication and effort, we are making Mercy Hospital Springfield a center of excellence for breastfeeding which has an enormous impact on the health of our community's mothers and children. There were many co-workers who helped us achieve this score. We’re very proud, and we especially want to thank our entire Maternal Child Department who’ve assisted us in this achievement.”