Quiet Time to Increase Breastfeeding Rates and Enhance Women's Hospital Experiences in the Postpartum Period.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Nurs Womens Health


california; lcmmc; phcmc


OBJECTIVE: To facilitate optimal hospital experiences and breastfeeding clinical outcomes among women by reducing interruptions during their first 24 hours in the postpartum period.

DESIGN: Evidence-based practice change initiated by a registered nurse staff member.

SETTING/LOCAL PROBLEM: There was concern that numerous visitor and staff interruptions to women during their early postpartum hours were interfering with establishing breastfeeding and maintaining a restful environment on our 21-bed postpartum unit within a 377-bed, Magnet-recognized, religiously affiliated hospital in suburban southern California.

PARTICIPANTS: Medically stable women with uncomplicated childbirth during the previous 24 hours and women in the postpartum period whose responses were recorded in facility databases maintained by the departments of Lactation Services and Nursing Research.

INTERVENTION/MEASUREMENTS: A daily quiet time from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. was instituted on the postpartum unit. Measurements before and after implementing quiet time included data on (a) interruptions, as the number of times someone opened or entered women's room doors; (b) exclusive breastfeeding rates; and (c) women's postdischarge reports of their hospital experiences.

RESULTS: After quiet time was implemented, interruptions fell from an average of 74 to an average of 37 per day (n = 21, p = .02), and the percentage of women breastfeeding rose from 34% to 48% (n = 193, p = .39). Women's ratings of unit quietness improved significantly (n = 169, p = .008) to above the benchmark, and their overall facility rating and willingness to recommend the facility remained above the benchmark on surveys from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems.

CONCLUSION: A daily afternoon quiet time for women in the postpartum period may reduce interruptions to women and thereby potentially increase breastfeeding rates and improve women's perceptions of their hospital experiences. Unsolicited reports from staff suggested that quiet time was well received by nurses providing postpartum care.

Clinical Institute

Women & Children




Obstetrics & Gynecology