Assessing Barriers to Implement Birth Kangaroo Care in Kentucky Birthing Hospitals

Ana Maria Linares, Denise Barbier, Kristina M. Schoeffler, Rebecca L. Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Kentucky continues to have one of the lowest state breastfeeding rates in the country. In 2014, the majority of the birthing hospitals in Kentucky implemented a practice change to the healthcare model known as Birth Kangaroo Care (BKC) as an effort to increase breastfeeding initiation. The goal of this study was to identify current practices and barriers to implementing BKC. Methods: An evaluation/surveillance study that incorporated an Internet survey to collect information about the practices and policies of BKC in birthing hospitals in Kentucky was completed. Findings: The response rate was 54% (n = 25). The birthing hospitals responders to the survey (84%) reported that a BKC policy was established after the educational intervention. Data identified two perceived barriers regarding uninterrupted BKC. One barrier was the interruption by family members to hold the newborn, and the second was a delay in BKC for medical evaluations of the baby by staff members. Conclusion: Breastfeeding rates after implementation of the BKC policy in Kentucky birthing hospitals showed a statistically significant (p =.02) improvement of “ever breastfed” infants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-102
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Lactation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2020 United States Lactation Consulting Association.


  • Birth Kangaroo Care
  • Kentucky
  • birthing hospitals
  • breastfeeding
  • kin-to-skin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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