Featured Programs & Activities
Hospital Initiative Project: Breastfeeding Partnership in Yakima

The Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington is partnering with the Washington State Department of Health’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Program and Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital (YVMH) on a new pilot project to support improvements in hospital policies and practices that influence breastfeeding.

Through the pilot project, physicians, nurses, midwives, administrators, lactation consultants and other staff from Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital came together for a presentation about the influence of maternity care practices on breastfeeding. Goals for the presentation were: (1) to increase participants’ understanding of recent evidence-based research regarding maternity care practices and specifically, how practices affect breastfeeding; and (2) to serve as a spring board for continued discussion and work aimed at affecting maternity care policy change at YVMH. The presenters shared evidence-based information about the impact of breastfeeding on health, the cost savings associated with breastfeeding and the results of several studies that address the impact of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. In addition, presenters highlighted YVMH's results from a 2007 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey of birth facilities' maternity practices related to breastfeeding.

Next Steps

YVMH is forming an internal multi-disciplinary task force to address the opportunities for improvement. In addition to providing on-going support and technical assistance to YVMH, the BCW and the DOH will identify an additional Washington hospital with which to collaborate.


Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington, Washington State Department of Health Nutrition and Physical Activity Program

Adapted from "Hospital Initiative Pilot Project Well Received" in the Summer 2009 issue of Breastfeeding Matters.

Target Audience

Healthcare providers, hospitals