Daily Message

Aug. 24, 2016: Breastfeeding Report Card Shows Marked Improvement in N.J. Hospitals

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released its 2016 Breastfeeding Report Card, and New Jersey hospitals have improved their grades.

New Jersey’s hospital performance has considerably improved in all areas since 2010, when the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative began. Between 2010 and 2016, the average Maternal Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care score has increased from 62 to 83, and the percentage of breastfed babies receiving formula before two days has decreased from 35 percent to 18.9 percent.  More than 13 percent of live births are now in a Baby-Friendly designated hospital as compared to zero in 2010. The full report, along with previous years, is available on the CDC web site

The report card provides national- and state-level data to help public health practitioners, health professionals, community members, child care providers and family members work together to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. The 2016 report card is based on breastfeeding practices among U.S. infants born in 2013 and National Immunization Survey data from 2014 and 2015.

A small number of Garden State hospitals worked with The American Academy of Pediatrics New Jersey, Pediatric Council on Research and Education, in 2010 as part of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative to increase exclusive breastfeeding rates across the cohort by an average of 11 percent.

In October 2014, NJHA's Health Research and Educational Trust was funded by the CDC to foster an environment in 18 New Jersey hospitals that would enrich their ability to promote exclusive and sustained breastfeeding among their patient population. This could be achieved by increasing the number of maternity hospitals implementing all of the WHO/UNICEF Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding (Ten Steps), or achieving Baby-Friendly designation.

Although not all hospitals in New Jersey have made the decision to work toward designation, with several opting to focus on implementation of the WHO/UNICEF Ten Steps, there is a cadre of hospitals that have worked toward and achieved designation over the past several years. NJHA and its partner, the Central Jersey Family Health Consortium, anticipate additional hospitals to be surveyed during the coming year.

New Jersey's Baby-Friendly designated hospitals include: Capital Health Medical Center-Hopewell, CentraState Medical Center, Inspira Medical Center Elmer, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Morristown Medical Center, Overlook Medical Center and Southern Ocean Medical Center.  A toolkit is available to assist providers implementing the Ten Steps.