Welcome to the State of California 

Birth and Beyond California Program Fact Sheet

MO-07-0147 BFP

Program Overview

  • Program Glossary (PDF)Opens a new browser window.
  • Program Logic Model (PDF)Opens a new browser window.
  • Program Poster Presentation (PDF)Opens a new browser window.
  • Goals

    • Effective, evidence-based breastfeeding support will be available to all mothers delivering babies in hospitals in California.


    • Data published by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) have demonstrated that even though over 85% of the women in California have decided to breastfeed, fewer than half of these are able to exclusively breastfeed in the short time they are in the hospital.  In some areas of the state, the gap between “any” and “exclusive” breastfeeding is much larger.  This gap has also been shown to be much greater among the populations who have the highest risk for morbidity among their infants. In 2006, only 43 percent of California newborns were exclusively breastfed in the early postpartum period. Disparities in exclusive breastfeeding rates were found to be lowest for Hispanics (32%), African Americans (34%), and Pacific Islanders (41%). All were well below the rate for whites (64%) and the recommended Healthy People 2010 goal of 75%. 
    • Organizations that study ways to maintain optimal infant health, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Academy of Family Physicians, Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, World Health Organization, and United Nations Children’s Fund—all recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life.  The education and support offered by staff in California hospitals can affect exclusive breastfeeding, not only for the first few days of life, but continued exclusive breastfeeding.
    • In 2006, the CDPH shared with all the hospitals the Model Hospital Policy Recommendations on how to improve hospital exclusive breastfeeding rates.  This was followed by the development of a Toolkit to assist in their implementation in 2007.  In 2008, Birth and Beyond California will provide additional information and resources to assist hospitals in implementing these policies.

    Program Activities

    • Birth and Beyond California is being piloted in areas with the lowest exclusive breastfeeding rates beginning with RPPC regions 5 and 6.  Region 5 includes the counties of the Central Valley, Kern, Tulare, Kings, Fresno, Madera, Merced, Mariposa, Stanislaus and Tuolumne.  Region 6 includes Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.  Region 8 which includes Orange County will be added in July 2008.  Eight hospitals began the project in early 2008, with a goal of adding 12 new hospitals every 6 months through 2011.
    • Birth and Beyond California provides:
      • Training
        • 2 hour Administrator
        • 16 hour Staff
        • 8 hour Train-the-Trainer
      • Technical Assistance for Hospital Quality Improvement Team
        • Policy Revision
        • Evaluation Toolkit
      • Regional Quality Improvement Network meetings
        • Monthly

    Who Benefits

    • The citizens of California benefit, as healthier women and infants have fewer medical expenses requiring hospitalizations and medications. In addition, breastfeeding leads to improved maternal-child bonding, which leads to optimal early child-development and fewer educational and social costs in the future.
    • Health Care Providers in community hospitals benefit by having access to up-to-date, evidence-based information and technical assistance on ways to offer and measure outcomes related to breastfeeding support.

    Who Provides Services

    • The state MCAH, currently through Regional Perinatal Programs of California Regions 5 and 6 and beginning July 2008, Region 8, provides access to participation in Birth and Beyond California.


    • Federal Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant


    Last modified on: 10/25/2013 9:36 AM