DefinitionPercent of live births occurring at "Baby Friendly" Facilities, which are delivery facilities that provide maternal and newborn care consistent with the WHO/UNICEF Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding
NumeratorNumber of live births occurring at "Baby Friendly" Facilities
DenominatorTotal number of live births
Why Is This Important?The [https://www.babyfriendlyusa.org/about/ Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative] encourages and recognizes hospitals that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding. It recognizes and awards birthing facilities who successfully implement the '''Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding''' and assists hospitals in giving all mothers the information, confidence, and skills necessary to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies.[https://www.babyfriendlyusa.org/about/ ^1^]
Healthy People Objective: Increase the proportion of live births that occur in facilities that provide recommended care for lactating mothers and their babiesU.S. Target: 8.1 percent
State Target: 50.0 percent
Other Objectives'''Healthy New Jersey 2020 Objective MCH-9''': Increase the percentage of live births occuring in New Jersey delivery facilities that provide maternal and newborn care consistent with the WHO/UNICEF Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding to 50%.
How Are We Doing?As of October 2022, twelve of New Jersey's birthing hospitals have been designated as Baby-Friendly.[https://www.babyfriendlyusa.org/for-parents/baby-friendly-facilities-by-state/ ^2^]
What Is Being Done?In September 2022, the New Jersey Department of Health released its [https://www.state.nj.us/health/fhs/wic/documents/FINAL%20New%20Jersey%20Breastfeeding%20Strategic%20Plan%202022.pdf 2022-2027 Breastfeeding Strategic Plan].
The New Jersey Department of Health's Division of Family Health Services calls on all medical providers to implement evidence-based practices to promote and support breastfeeding. The Division prepares an annual comparative report on the exclusive breastfeeding rates at the time of discharge for all delivery hospitals and shows a standardized score for each hospital based on the demographic and medical characteristics of the patient population. The report allows hospitals to compare their rates to other hospitals in their region and to other hospitals with similar designations and demonstrates the need for quality reporting. It provides pregnant women with information about which hospitals have better breastfeeding outcomes.
In December, 2013, the Department adopted amended Hospital Licensing Standards that require hospitals to develop and implement written policies and procedures for identifying and supporting the needs of a breastfeeding mother and/or child at the point of entry into the facility, including the emergency department; written policies and procedures for the obstetrics unit that include competencies of obstetrics staff regarding infant feeding, distribution of printed materials about infant feeding, cultural competence of obstetrics staff, professional resources for use by obstetrics staff, formula supplementation, rooming-in, pacifier use, breastfeeding assistance, and labeling and storage of human milk and infant formula; and discharge planning.
Hospitals are required to establish an interdisciplinary breastfeeding team and use evidence-based resources including "Implementing the Joint Commission Perinatal Care Core Measure on Exclusive Breastmilk Feeding" regarding perinatal patient care that address allowing newborns to remain with the mother or primary caregiver during the first hour following delivery, performing newborn assessments while the newborn remains with the mother (unless contraindicated) and offer support and assistance to mothers who wish to breastfeed during the first hour after their infants' births. Other requirements include readily available breast pumps, and provision of a breast pump to a mother within four hours of her infant's separation from her, e.g., to the NICU, or ineffective breastfeeding; education and training for staff who provide breastfeeding care and staff ability to demonstrate proficiency in core competencies prior to providing related patient care; and establishment of an interdisciplinary breastfeeding team that represents various professional healthcare disciplines and lay groups.
These Standards took effect on January 21, 2014, with the goal of increasing exclusive breastfeeding rates, improving health outcomes of mothers and infants, reducing childhood obesity rates, and containing healthcare costs.
The WIC Program, which serves about half of the infants born in New Jersey, provides breastfeeding education to pregnant women and support services to breastfeeding women who participate in the Program.
The Division of Family Health Services is working with the New Jersey Hospital Association and other partners to support hospitals to attain the Baby-Friendly Hospital designation.