Brookings Health Scores 100% on CDC’s Infant Feeding Practices Survey

  • September 27, 2021

Lactation Consultant with new mother

Brookings Health System scored 100 of 100 points on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) most recent survey of Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC).

The mPINC survey is a national survey of infant feeding practices in maternity care settings. Every two years, all U.S. hospitals that provide maternity services and free-standing birth centers are invited to participate. Brookings Health System scored 21 points above the average for hospitals in the region (79) and 19 points above the national average (81).

“Our obstetrics team at New Beginnings Birth Center is committed to delivering compassionate care to all new mothers,” said Obstetrics Director, Mary Schwaegerl. “As a Baby-Friendly designated hospital, we continue to implement evidence-based practices to encourage breastfeeding and support new mothers in every aspect of nursing.”

Brookings Health and all the hospitals are rated by mPINC on six care dimensions that demonstrate supportive hospital practices to encourage breastfeeding. Those dimensions are:

  • Immediate Postpartum Care: Newborns are placed skin-to-skin with the mother immediately after birth and are continuously monitored during the first two hours following birth.
  • Rooming-In: Newborns stay in the room with their mothers for 24 hours a day unless a medical reason requires separation. Frequent observations of high-risk mothers and infants are made by nurses.
  • Feeding Practices: Staff frequently counsels mothers on the benefits of breastfeeding and possible health consequences if infant formula is requested.
  • Feeding Education: Staff teaches mothers to recognize and respond to feeding cues, assess effective breastfeeding, feed their newborn on demand, position and latch their newborn and hand express milk. Staff also ensures that mothers understand the risks associated with the use of pacifiers. If formula must be used, mothers are taught to safely prepare and feed formula.
  • Discharge Support: Discharge criteria requires observation of effective feeding and scheduling in-person breastfeeding follow-up visits to help resolve any feeding problems and connect families to community breastfeeding resources.
  • Institutional Management: Breastfeeding education, clinical training and competency verification is required for all maternity staff who work with breastfeeding families. Written policies are in place to support all the above dimensions.

According to the CDC, institutional changes in maternity care practices effectively increase breastfeeding initiation and duration rates. Birth facilities that have achieved designation as a part of the World Health Organization/UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), such as Brookings Health System, typically experience an increase in breastfeeding rates.

Brookings Health System’s OB unit, New Beginnings Birth Center, has eight beds consisting of five labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum (LDRP) suites and three postpartum recovery rooms. The unit provides full OB services to expectant parents and enables area residents to deliver their baby close to home with a local physician. To learn more about New Beginnings Birth Center, please visit

About Brookings Health System

Brookings Health System, located in Brookings, South Dakota, includes a 49-bed hospital, the 79-bed The Neighborhoods at Brookview nursing home, Brookhaven Estates senior living apartments, Yorkshire Eye Clinic & Optical, and medical clinics in Arlington, White and Volga, South Dakota. It is a non-profit, city-owned facility that offers the community a full range of inpatient, outpatient, emergency and extended care services. Brookings Hospital provides local access to doctors in Brookings and offers robotic da Vinci surgery and Mako robotic-arm assisted procedures, making it one of the premier rural community hospitals in South Dakota. For more information about the services offered at Brookings Health System, please call (605) 696-9000 or visit us on the Web at