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Health Indicator Report of Breastfeeding Initiation and Continuation

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.[ ^1^]


This is Healthy New Jersey 2020 Objective MCH-7.

Data Source

Breastfeeding Report Card, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, []


Proportion of infants who are breastfed at certain ages


Number of infants who are breastfed at certain ages


Total number of infants of a certain age

Healthy People Objective: Increase the proportion of infants who are breastfed

U.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% [[br]] 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 (HNJ2020) targets were met by 2017 but fell below target rates in 2018 and 2019. In 2020, only the proportion ever breastfed had met the HNJ2020 target.

What Is Being Done?

In September 2022, the New Jersey Department of Health released its [ 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 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 attain the Baby-Friendly Hospital designation.

Available Services

['s,specialist%20in%20English%20or%20Spanish. National Breastfeeding Helpline] in both English and Spanish: 1-800-994-9662 Online breastfeeding information: *NJDOH: [] *CDC: [] *Office on Women's Health: []
Page Content Updated On 08/01/2023, Published on 08/11/2023
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's NJSHAD web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sat, 18 May 2024 16:46:03 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

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