Trends in rooming-in practices among hospitals in the United States, 2007–2015
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Trends in rooming-in practices among hospitals in the United States, 2007–2015

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      Rooming-in, or keeping mothers and infants together throughout the birth hospitalization, increases breastfeeding initiation and duration, and is one of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.


      The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) survey is a biennial census of all birth facilities in the United States and its territories. Data from the 2007–2015 mPINC surveys were used to assess trends in the prevalence of hospitals with most (≥90%) infants rooming-in more than 23 hours per day (ideal practice). Hospital practices among breastfed infants not rooming-in at night and reasons why hospitals without ideal rooming-in practices removed healthy, full-term, breastfed infants from their mothers’ rooms were also analyzed.


      The percentage of hospitals with ideal practice increased from 27.8% in 2007 to 51.4% in 2015. Most breastfed infants who were not rooming-in were brought to their mothers at night for feedings (91.8% in 2015). Among hospitals without ideal rooming-in practices, the percentage removing 50% or more of infants from their mothers’ rooms at any point during the hospitalization decreased for all reasons surveyed during 2007–2015; however, in 2015, hospitals still reported regularly removing infants for hearing tests (73.2%), heel sticks (65.5%), infant baths (40.2%), pediatric rounds (35.5%), and infant photos (25.4%).


      Hospital implementation of rooming-in increased 23.6 percentage points during 2007–2015. Continued efforts are needed to ensure that all mothers who choose to breastfeed receive optimal lactation support during the first days after giving birth.

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