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Commitment to Breastfeeding Yields “Best Practice” Designation

Dec 15, 2010

The midwives of Women’s Healthcare Associates, LLC recently received the honor of “best practice” for 2009 in the “high volume” practice category (greater than 500 deliveries annually) for achieving the highest rate of breastfeeding continuation at six weeks postpartum. This was announced last week by the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM), the professional organization representing certified nurse midwives and certified midwives throughout the United States. It is based on data submitted by midwifery practices as part of the ACNM’s Nurse Midwifery Benchmarking Initiative, which began in 2004.

“This year’s Best Practice designation is an honor, but not entirely unexpected. We have always scored well in the breastfeeding category. Recognition and support of breastfeeding is very high in the Pacific Northwest. Within WHA, the entire organization is committed to education and encouraging patients to take advantage of available resources, such as the Postpartum Care Center at Providence St. Vincent’s Medical Center,” says Certified Nurse Midwife Christine Barlow, “we see ourselves as cheerleaders for surmounting obstacles to breastfeeding successfully.”

WHA has participated in ACNM’s annual study since 2007. Christine Barlow has spearheaded the data collection and reporting for the last three years. “It’s important that we track our performance in terms of patient outcomes for our own information, but also because patients want to know how likely it is that they’ll have a c-section or other intervention when they choose a midwife at Women's Healthcare Associates.”

The Benchmarking Initiative collects data in seven key areas related to birth, perineal and infant outcomes; breastfeeding; and practice efficiency. Participation in the Initiative provides the opportunity for WHA’s midwives to compare their practice to midwifery practices across the nation that are similar in terms of size and patient demographics and to identify areas and strategies for improvement.

Results from the 2009 study also show that the midwives of WHA are in the top 25% of similar midwifery practices for successful Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (83% success rate) and in the top 50% of practices with the lowest rates of primary cesarean section at 12%.

The Certified Nurse Midwives of Women’s Healthcare Associates provide complete prenatal and postpartum care, as well as well-woman gynecology. They care for women independently, working closely with their physician partners at Women's Healthcare Associates should a consultation or surgical intervention become necessary during labor or birth. Read more about midwifery care at Women's Healthcare Associates >