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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
|Mary E. O'Dowd, M.P.H.|
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New Jersey Health and Senior Services Commissioner Mary E. O’Dowd today joined with CentraState Medical Center in Freehold to convene a roundtable discussion about how health care providers can increase the number of women who exclusively breastfeed in New Jersey.
A mother who recently delivered a baby at CentraState Medical Center participated in the roundtable along with maternal and child health experts and health care leaders.
“The first few days in the hospital are critical in supporting mothers who want to breastfeed so they can be successful,” said Commissioner O’Dowd. “With the assistance of health care providers, we can work to improve
Research shows that hospital policies specifically designed to support breastfeeding can dramatically increase exclusive breastfeeding rates, which is when the infant only receives breast milk, resulting in reduced risk of childhood obesity, decreased incidence of infectious diseases and other chronic diseases. Hospitals have opportunities to implement practices in labor, delivery, postpartum care and discharge planning that can protect, promote and support breastfeeding and improve the success rate among women who want to breastfeed.
Topics discussed at the panel included how to remove barriers to breastfeeding, steps providers can take to encourage moms to breastfeed and resources in the community that can support mothers who are breastfeeding after hospital discharge.
The roundtable also focused on
“The Unites States has 119 Baby Friendly hospitals and birthing center, but
Earlier this year, the Department awarded 10 maternity hospitals with $10,000 grants to support their implementation of the Baby Friendly Hospitals Initiative.
“I look forward to announcing the first Baby Friendly hospital in
Hospitals that received funding to implement the initiative include:
· Capital Health in
· Hunterdon Healthcare System in Flemington
· Our Lady of
· Saint Barnabas Medical Center in
In order to achieve Baby Friendly Status, hospitals need to fulfill the following ten steps:
· Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff
· Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy
· Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding
· Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth
· Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they are separated from their infants
· Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated
· Practice “rooming in”-- allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day
· Encourage breastfeeding on demand
· Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants
· Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic
These ten hospitals who received grants have formed an informal collaborative called the New Jersey Baby-Friendly Hospital Coalition to share best practices.
Funding for the New Jersey Baby Friendly efforts was provided by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to DHSS as part of its efforts to ensure hospitals are promoting breastfeeding. The goal of this 18-month quality improvement initiative is to increase exclusive breastfeeding rates, prevent obesity and improve health outcomes.
The Department’s Division of Family Health Services’ website provides surveillance of breastfeeding trends and best practice models, such as the CDC’s Guide to Breastfeeding Interventions, and links to resources and local support services. Additionally, the website has a report that provides information on
Department of Health
P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360