DefinitionProportion of infants who are breastfed at certain ages
NumeratorNumber of infants who are breastfed at certain ages
DenominatorTotal number of infants of a certain age
Why Is This Important?Breastfeeding is the best source of nutrition for most infants. It can also reduce the risk for some short- and long-term health conditions for both infants and mothers.[https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/about-breastfeeding/index.html ^1^]
Healthy People Objective: Increase the proportion of infants who are breastfedU.S. Target: Ever: 81.9%,
Exclusively Through 3 Months: 46.2%,
Exclusively Through 6 Months: 25.5%
State Target: Ever: 85%,
Exclusively Through 3 Months: 45%,
Exclusively Through 6 Months: 25.5%
Other Objectives'''Revised Healthy New Jersey 2020 Objective MCH-7''': Increase the proportion of infants who are breastfed
*'''MCH-7a''': Ever to 85%
*'''MCH-7b''': Breastfed exclusively through 3 months to 45%
*'''MCH-7c''': Breastfed exclusively through 6 months to 25.5%
Original objective included "any breastfeeding" at 6 months. The revised objective is for exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months.
How Are We Doing?All Healthy New Jersey 2020 targets were met by 2017.
What Is Being Done?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 annually publishes the exclusive breastfeeding rates for all delivery hospitals. The report allows hospitals to compare their rates to other hospitals in their region. 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 implement the Ten Steps to Success Breastfeeding as outlined in a Joint WHO/UNICEF Statement and comply with the Hospital Licensing Standards.
In 2019, NJDOH [https://www.nj.gov/health/news/2019/approved/20190529a.shtml awarded] the [https://cjfhc.org/index.php/en/ Central Jersey Family Health Consortium] $114,000 to partner with the [http://breastfeedingnj.org/ New Jersey Breastfeeding Coalition] (NJBC) to develop a statewide Breastfeeding Strategic Plan for New Jersey.