The Effect of Baby-friendly Status on Exclusive Breastfeeding in U.S. Hospitals
By Patterson J, Keuler N, Olson B
In 2014, a leading hospital accreditation agency, mandated hospitals publicly report their exclusive breastfeeding (EBF) rates. This new regulation provided an opportunity to explore differences in EBF outcomes using a standardized definition across a large hospital sample in the United States. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between population demographics and the Baby-friendly (BF) hospital designation on EBF rates in hospitals throughout the United States. We obtained EBF rates from 121 BF hospitals and 1,608 hospitals without the BF designation. Demographic variables were computed using census tract data for the population surrounding each hospital. Relationships were explored using linear regression. We found that EBF rates were positively correlated with a bachelor’s degree, log income, and those who identified as White or Asian and negatively correlated with those without college attendance, individuals living below the poverty line, and those who identified as African American or Hispanic. For all models, the BF designation of a hospital was associated with higher EBF rates (p < 0.01; effect sizes, 0.11-0.49) with the exception of the model containing log income. Using a multiple linear regression model that was allowed to contain more than one independent variable, we were able to explain 22% of the variability in EBF rates. The BF hospital designation was associated with significantly higher EBF rates independent of demographic variables. Support for hospitals to attain the BF hospital designation is a meaningful public health goal.
March 12, 2018
Patterson J, Keuler N, Olson B (2018) 'The Effect of Baby-friendly Status on Exclusive Breastfeeding in U.S. Hospitals'. Maternal & Child Nutrition: pp. e12589. Available online: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/mcn.12589/abstract;jsessionid=221FC8F21969FB8ED1EE349B756F3C24.f02t03