Mother’s Own Milk Initiative NICU Teams Meet in Orlando


The mid-project meeting for the Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative’ Mothers Own Milk (MOM) in the NICU Initiative was held in Orlando on March 14, 2017.  The event was attended by more than 70 participants from all 25 participating Neonatal Intensive Care Units. The day was full of sharing of successes as well as opportunities for improvement among the NICUs. Those who attended had an overall feeling of purpose and passion to support the use of MOM in their NICUs!

The day started with team introductions and sharing of unit successes gained during the project so far. An overview of the most current initiative-wide data was provide d to set the stage for the day’s work by Dr. Sappenfield, director of the Florida Perinatal Quality Collaborative. Best practices on how to support the very low birth weight (VLBW) infant to transition to oral feedings at the breast was presented by Ivonne Hernandez, FPQC MOM nurse consultant and Dr. Kara Del Valle, neonatologist and MOM advisory board member. A round robin session with five different topics allowed for troubleshooting and brainstorming of potential solutions to challenges identified by the NICUs. This activity allowed NICU teams to discuss and share in a small group setting their experiences and provide advice to one another on various challenge areas. Valuable insight was shared during these sessions!

The day would not have been complete without a focus on Quality Improvement (QI) science to help support the MOM NICUs in prioritizing and planning their work.  Remembering that QI work requires great endurance, similar to what a runner provides during a marathon, is critical to sustaining positive change.

Attendees also had the opportunity to ask difficult questions and address concerns they had regarding the use of MOM in the NICU setting in a “stump the expert” panel. Multiple questions were addressed and discussed during this interactive session.

The closing of the day was filled with sharing of a mother’s NICU journey and the role that providing MOM for her infants played. Carol, a mother who delivered quadruplets at 28 weeks gestation was interviewed by Dr. Mai Phung regarding her NICU experience. Her story was illustrated with photos of the infants from admission to discharge to today.  She shared her perspective on pumping, provided feedback on how NICU staff can support NICU moms, and how she continued to provide MOM for her infants beyond the NICU stay.

Overall the mid-project meeting was a success at bringing together MOM NICUs and facilitating discussion and sharing of lessons learned and ideas for solutions to re-energize the attendees to continue their efforts when they return home.

For more information on the FPQC’s MOM Initiative, visit