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Addressing Disparities in Maternity Care through CDC’s EMPower Best Practices


  • Racial and ethnic disparities in maternity care led to disparities in health.
  • Abt is delivering training and technical assistance on culturally responsive care to hospital staff.
  • The training will help health practitioners support safe and equitable maternity care.
The Challenge

To support optimal infant nutrition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention seeks to improve knowledge of–and skills in–evidence-based maternity care practices among health practitioners. Best practices include breastfeeding, but racial and ethnic disparities in breastfeeding rates contribute to significant differences in health outcomes. Abt is working with CDC to implement EMPower Best Practices, a hospital-based quality improvement initiative designed to build the skills needed to close these gaps in health outcomes.

The Approach

Through EMPower Best Practices, Abt is providing:

  • Virtual, skills-based competency training compliant with the World Health Organization’s Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding and aligned to Baby Friendly USA designation requirements.
  • Access to a shared knowledge portal housing breastfeeding and quality improvement resources, as well as tools that enable participants to reach out to one another for joint problem solving.
  • A designated breastfeeding coach and a quality improvement coach to each hospital to provide tailored technical assistance.
  • Support by tracking measures to help teams learn about– and improve the delivery of–safe and equitable implementation of optimal infant nutrition policies.