- Associated Press - Saturday, August 29, 2015

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - More than two dozen Alabama hospitals are joining an effort to promote breastfeeding.

The state Health Department says 27 of the Alabama hospitals that deliver babies have agreed to participate in the Alabama Breastfeeding Initiative.

The project is aimed at promoting the idea that breastfeeding an infant provides important nutritional and emotional benefits for newborns.

About 67 percent of Alabama mothers reported initiating breastfeeding last year. But Alabama still trails the national rate of 79 percent and a U.S. goal of about 82 percent.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for at least the first six months of a baby’s life.

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