Friday, December 7, 2012

Joint Commission mandates new core measure that includes exclusive breastfeeding

The Joint Commission recently announced that it will expand performance measurement requirements for accredited general medical/surgical hospitals starting Jan. 1, 2014. For hospitals with 1,100 or more births per year, the perinatal care measure set will become the mandatory fifth measure set and include exclusive breastfeeding. This new mandate will impact about 23 Colorado hospitals.  

Evidence shows that infants who are breastfed are less likely to be obese or overweight and experience other illnesses such as diabetes and respiratory illnesses. To receive the full benefits of breastfeeding, women need to breastfeed exclusively for at least six months.

The Joint Commission defines exclusive breast milk feeding as the following:  “A newborn receiving only breast milk and no other liquids or solids except for drops or syrups consisting of vitamins, minerals, or medicines. Breast milk feeding includes expressed mother’s milk as well as donor human milk, both of which may be fed to the infant by means other than suckling at the breast. While breastfeeding is the goal for optimal health, it is recognized that human milk provided indirectly is still superior to alternatives.

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