|Photo courtesy of University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital|
Improvement is badly needed, with half of babies born in the United States given formula the first week of their lives. By nine months, just 31 percent of babies are breastfeeding at all, reports Allison Perry for UKnow.
The program will involve the hospital implementing then steps to successful breastfeeding, which are endorsed by the American Academy of Pedicatrics. Some of those steps include informing all pregnant women about the benefits of breastfeeding; helping mothers breastfeed within one hour of birth; showing mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation; allowing mothers and infants to stay together 24 hours a day; and giving no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants.
UK is one of 90 hospitals nationwide selected to participate in the program. Earlier this year, UK became the first hospital in Lexington to participate in "Kangaroo Care," a training program that promotes skin-to-skin contact between mothers and infants to help with breastfeeding and bonding.
Kentucky's breast-feeding rates are among the lowest in the country, with about 59 percent of new mothers breast feeding. The national rate is 75 percent. (Read more)