Our Journey toward Becoming a Baby Friendly® Hospital
The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative is a joint project of the World Health Organization and UNICEF. The goal is to recognize hospitals that provide a positive environment for breast-feeding mothers by meeting the standards outlined in the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding”, which are posted in our Birthing Center.
We believe that breastfeeding provides the most perfect nutrition for your baby, and helps protect from illnesses, diseases later in life, and SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Breastfeeding also improves Mom’s health, and gives her protection from breast and ovarian cancers, among others. Breast feeding allows bonding and emotional benefits for mom and baby, while saving the family money: up to $3000 for the first year of life.
We have made a commitment at UK Birthing Center to:
- Provide education to all parents about the benefits of breastfeeding and the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months.
- Put your baby “skin to skin” with you at birth to promote early breastfeeding.
- Provide support and instruction for you through our specially trained nurses and lactation consultants throughout your hospital stay. This includes showing you how to maintain your milk supply if you have to be separated from your baby for medical reasons.
- Keep your baby with you at all times as much as possible so you may learn to recognize baby’s early signs or cues of hunger.
- Not put your baby on a schedule of feeds but teach you how to recognize effective feeding.
- Only use practices which are proven by research. Pacifiers have not been shown to be beneficial during the first 4 weeks of life, and may actually confuse baby during this learning time with breastfeeding. If you wish for your baby to have a pacifier while you are in the hospital, you may bring one from home.
- Provide you with support for breastfeeding not only while you are in the hospital, but after you are discharged as well, through our Mommy and Me Clinic in the Kentucky Clinic General Pediatrics Clinic, or through agencies in your community, through our liaison with the Health Department.