The Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation-Strong Start: First Annual Report | Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation | Administration for Children and Families


The Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation-Strong Start (MIHOPE-Strong Start), developed by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), funded by CMS, and implemented in partnership with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), uses a rigorous random assignment design to examine the effects of home visiting programs on birth outcomes and maternal and infant health and health care. The study will also collect and analyze rich information on local implementation processes. This report includes a description of the study and the similarities and differences between the two home visiting models that are included in the study: Healthy Families America (HFA) and Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP).

Source: Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families

Available at:

Advice varies on what to do when an expectant mother’s water breaks before labor


My wife wore a serious expression as she entered our living room. “I think my water just broke,” she said. My heart skipped, half in excitement and half in concern. Her due date had arrived, so it was time for the baby to come. But she wasn’t yet in labor, and contractions are supposed to be well underway before the gush that signals the rupturing of the amniotic sac.

Events, in other words, were out of order. Her nearly textbook-perfect pregnancy had taken an unexpected last-minute turn.

Source: The Washington Post

Available at:

Vital Signs: Hospital Practices to Support Breastfeeding — United States, 2007 and 2009


Background: Childhood obesity is a national epidemic in the United States. Increasing the proportion of mothers who breastfeed is one important public health strategy for preventing childhood obesity. The World Health Organization and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative specifies Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding that delineate evidence-based hospital practices to improve breastfeeding initiation, duration, and exclusivity.

Methods: In 2007 and 2009, CDC conducted a national survey of U.S. obstetric hospitals and birth centers. CDC analyzed these data to describe the prevalence of facilities using maternity care practices consistent with the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.

Results: In 2009, staff members at most hospitals provide prenatal breastfeeding education (93%) and teach mothers breastfeeding techniques (89%) and feeding cues (82%). However, few hospitals have model breastfeeding policies (14%), limit breastfeeding supplement use (22%), or support mothers postdischarge (27%). From 2007 to 2009, the percentage of hospitals with recommended practices covering at least nine of 10 indicators increased only slightly, from 2.4% to 3.5%. Recommended maternity care practices vary by region and facility size.

Conclusion: Most U.S. hospitals have policies and practices that do not conform to international recommendations for best practices in maternity care and interfere with mothers’ abilities to breastfeed.

Implications for Public Health Practice: Hospitals providing maternity care should adopt evidence-based practices to support breastfeeding. Public health agencies can set quality standards for maternity care and help hospitals achieve Baby-Friendly designation. Because nearly all births in the United States occur in hospitals, improvements in hospital policies and practices could increase rates of exclusive and continued breastfeeding nationwide, contributing to improved child health, including lower rates of obesity.

Source: Centers for Disease Control Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

Available at:

Breaking Down The Drugs: A Labor And Delivery Q & A


A number of moms in The Baby Project hoped for a natural birth, and wrote about their plans to avoid drugs during delivery. On the other hand, Ashley Charter wrote about the “amazing” epidural she received during the birth of her son.

We asked a private practitioner in Virginia to explain a bit more about the common drugs administered during labor and delivery, and tell us how and why they are used.

Source: NPR

Available at:

These Hospital Blankets Touch Millions Of American Babies


It may be an unassuming piece of fabric, but it has woven itself prominently into American life.

If you’ve seen a photo of a newborn baby recently, you’ve probably laid eyes on it.

We’re talking about a white flannel blanket with pink and blue stripes that is used in hospital delivery rooms across the country. It’s one of the first things to touch the skin of countless babies every year.

Nurse Donna Clark, manager of the maternity ward at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill., says her hospital has stocked the same blankets since she started working there some two decades ago.

Source: NPR

Available at:

Doctors To Pregnant Women: Wait At Least 39 Weeks : NPR

July 18, 2011

In her living room, Caroline Nagy introduces the newest member of her family — the 6-week-old infant in a striped onesie cradled in her arms. “This is Alex Joseph. He was born May 24th — my birthday,” she says.

Their shared birthday wasn’t entirely a coincidence. Two weeks before her due date, Nagy was swollen, and uncomfortable. So she asked her doctor for relief.

“I was just miserable. It was like uncomfortable to walk; I couldn’t sit on the floor and play; I felt like I was neglecting my first kid because I just couldn’t move and I couldn’t do anything,” says Nagy. “So I asked, ‘Is there any way I can speed this up and have a baby earlier?’ ”

Source: NPR

Available at: