Office Of Public Affairs

Hand Knit and Baby Friendly

Sep 11, 2007 6:00 PM

In the past eight months, hundreds of babies born at University Hospital have headed out into the world with warm heads. In an effort to secure Baby Friendly status, which encourages breast-feeding and bonding, babies were sent home with a hand-knitted hat and information on breast-feeding instead of a bag of formula giveaways.

Although anyone can volunteer their knitting skills, about 12 soft and stretchy hats arrive weekly from Linda Moreland, the mother of Jay Moreland, M.D., a family physician who delivers babies at the hospital and strongly promotes the benefits of breast-feeding.

"Educating people about the importance of breast-feeding is so important. Formula is not a substitute for mother's milk and people need to know this," says Linda, who is supporting her son's efforts. "We wanted to counter the formula companies free samples with something that was not a throw-away, but would stay with these families for a few years."

For the past 3 1/2 years, University Hospital has been working on Baby Friendly status, which entails 10 steps, all research-based. "It's quite prestigious to earn this status," says Brenda Gulliver, R.N., the hospital's Baby Friendly coordinator. "Only 58 of 6,000 hospitals in the United States have it and we would be the first in Utah."

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