LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 3, 2014) — The UK HealthCare Birthing Center at Kentucky Children's Hospital recently scored among the nation's top birthing facilities for implementing best practices related to breastfeeding and infant nutrition.
In results from a Centers for Disease Control survey, the UK HealthCare Birthing Center ranked in the 83rd percentile nationally and in the 97th percentile in the state. The Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care (mPINC) is a national survey of maternity care practices and policies conducted every two years. The survey obtains information about birthing center services and practices, including breastfeeding assistance, infant nutrition, skin-to-skin bonding, postpartum care, patient discharge procedures and more. UK HealthCare was among the 82 percent of 2,666 birthing facilities surveyed nationally that responded to the self-reported survey in 2013, with results recently released in 2014.
In 2007, the year the mPINC survey was introduced, UK HealthCare's Birthing Center scored in the 13th percentile nationally. The department raised its score to rank in the 45th percentile in 2011.
Gwen Moreland, interim assistant chief nurse executive at Kentucky Children's Hospital, attributed the department's improvement to a team of doctors and nurses committed to evidence-based practices in maternal care services. The Birthing Center has adopted practices and procedures scientifically proven to be beneficial for mother and baby.
Nurses and doctors facilitate skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth, transfer mother and baby as a couplet to the mother and baby unit, limit the amount of time a baby is away from his or her mother, and provided lactation specialists to help mother and baby adjust to breastfeeding. In addition, leaders within the department have introduced annual training sessions on up-to-date maternal care policies and procedures for nurses and doctors.
"I think it really validates the hard work and dedication of the nursing and physician staff," Moreland said of the CDC ranking. "We are more focused on quality outcomes and evidence-based care."
UK HealthCare is currently making strides toward a Baby-Friendly accreditation from the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). American hospitals can achieve this accreditation by offering an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding.
While working toward this goal, the birthing department was one of 92 birthing centers in the nation, and the only in Kentucky, to receive the Best Fed Beginnings Grant from the National Institute for Children's Health Quality in 2012. UK HealthCare follows the 10 Steps to Successful Breast Feeding outlined by the Baby-Friendly Initiative and provides patients with breastfeeding support at its Mommy and Me Clinic.
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