Brookings Health System Scores Well on CDC Survey of Infant Feeding Practices

  • January 19, 2015

Encouraging rooming-in and skin-to-skin contact, as shown above, helped Brookings Health System to score above the South Da
Encouraging rooming-in and skin-to-skin contact, as shown above, helped Brookings Health System to score above the South Dakota and national averages on the recent CDC mPINC survey of infant feeding practices in maternity care. 

Brookings Health System ranks above both the South Dakota and national averages for infant feeding practices according to results from 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 85 of 100 points, putting them 15 points above the South Dakota average (70) and 10 points above the national average (75).

“Evidence-based research shows breastfeeding is the best feeding practice for both babies and moms,” said Obstetrics Director Mary Schwaegerl. “Our performance on the CDC’s mPINC survey indicates we encourage breastfeeding and support mothers and infants to achieve successful breastfeeding outcomes.”

The survey rates participating facilities in seven care dimensions that demonstrate supportive hospital practices to encourage breastfeeding, including:

  • Skin-to-skin contact: placing the newborn skin-to-skin with the mother immediately after birth, allowing uninterrupted time for breastfeeding.
  • Teaching about breastfeeding: teaching mothers and babies how to breastfeed and to recognize and respond to important feeding cues.
  • Early and frequent breastfeeding: helping mothers and babies start breastfeeding as soon as possible after birth, with many opportunities to practice throughout the hospital stay. Pacifiers are used only when medically indicated.
  • Exclusive breastfeeding: offering supplementary feedings only in cases of rare medical complications.
  • Rooming-in: encouraging mothers and babies to room together and teach families the benefits of close contact, including better quality and quantity of sleep for both and more opportunities to practice breastfeeding.
  • Active follow-up after discharge: scheduling in-person breastfeeding follow-up visits for mothers and babies after they go home to check-up on breastfeeding, help resolve any feeding problems, and connect families to community breastfeeding resources.

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) typically experience an increase in breastfeeding rates.

Brookings Health System is currently on the path to becoming a Baby-Friendly designated hospital and has already implemented many of the supportive hospital practices to encourage breastfeeding.

Brookings Health System’s OB unit, New Beginnings Birth Center, has eight beds consisting of three labor, delivery, recovery and postpartum (LDRP) rooms and five 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, Arlington Medical Center and White Medical Clinic. It is a non-profit, city-owned facility that offers the community a full range of inpatient, outpatient, surgical and extended care services. The emergency room is staffed 24 hours a day and provides around the clock patient needs ranging from minor injuries to life threatening crises. For more information about the services offered at Brookings Health System, please call (605) 696-9000 or visit us on the Web at