“What is Measured Matters” and “What Matters should be Measured”

Erin L. O’Reilly*

“What is Measured Matters” and “What Matters should be Measured”.

Breastfeeding is an important indicator and promoter of health status for both mother and child. Breastfeeding’s potency as a health indicator and protector of health makes it deserving
of accurate and comprehensive assessment, documentation, and monitoring. Increasing breastfeeding continuation rates for greater dose-related benefits is part of our national Healthy People 2030 goals, but we are underperforming and haphazard in breastfeeding data assessment and documentation needed to guide our actions in accordance with our goals.

Action 19 of the 2011 Surgeon General’s “Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding” called for the development of a national monitoring system to improve the tracking of breastfeeding rates as well as the policies and environmental factors that affect breastfeeding. breastfeeding. Since the Action, breastfeeding data in the United States is collected in a variety of different ways that are not complimentary to each other. This summary describes the disparate ways we collect breastfeeding data in USA.

These breastfeeding assessment tools do not address the need for real time, accurate, comprehensive and continuing breastfeeding statistics that are needed to document and monitor the breastfeeding status of all American mothers and babies!
Breastfeeding is too important a public health measure to not have real time, accurate, comprehensive, and ongoing data on it.  Therefore, it is concluded with the recommendations
with recommendations for improvement in assessing and documenting breastfeeding data in real-time at every well-baby provider visit and the ways this data can be utilized to increase and support
breastfeeding in USA. 

Women Health Open J. 2021; 7(1): 7-9. doi: 10.17140/WHOJ-7-141