Breast Milk in the NICU
Breast milk is the optimal source of nutrition for babies, especially those under 1,500 grams at birth. Benefits include improved gastrointestinal maturity, better feeding tolerance and reduced risk of life-threatening infections such as sepsis and necrotizing enterocolitis. Infants fed human milk have lower mortality, better visual development, fewer chronic diseases later in life (including obesity, diabetes, asthma and cancer) and higher IQ scores. Breast feeding promotes mother-infant bonding, improves mother's health, and reduces length of stay and health care costs.
However, only 45.7% of infants cared for in Florida NICUs in 2013 received any breast milk through discharge. FPQC proposes an evidence-based statewide NICU quality improvement initiative to determine and remove barriers to human milk use for these at-risk infants. Goals include improved growth, reduced infections and shorter hospitalizations for the smallest and sickest of Florida’s culturally diverse babies, many of whom are disproportionately affected by prematurity and inadequate nutrition.
Primary Cesarean Reduction Initiative
FPQC stakeholders have proposed an initiative to reduce low-risk primary Cesarean sections in Florida.
Florida has the fourth highest rate among U.S. states. A recent analysis of birth certificates showed that the cesarean rate for Nulliparous Term Singleton Vertex (NTSV) cesareans ranges from 6.6% to 59.5%. This variation provides a major opportunity for improvement.