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Health Indicator Report of Feeding at Discharge

Human milk is important for normal infant growth and development and is recommended for the first year of life and beyond.

Data Source

Birth Certificate Database, Office of Vital Statistics and Registry, New Jersey Department of Health


The type of feedings given to an infant in the 24 hours prior to discharge from the hospital.


Number of feeding type-specific live births


Total number of live births

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%

How Are We Doing?

The breastfeeding (alone or in combination with supplemental formula) rate among New Jersey mothers is increasing. The overall breastfeeding rate was 77% in 2015 but only half of those mothers were breastfeeding exclusively (i.e., no supplementation with formula). Breastfeeding (exclusively or in combination with formula) is most common among Asian mothers, mothers 25- to 44-years-old, foreign-born mothers, and more educated mothers. Exclusive breastfeeding was most common among the same groups except that native-born mothers were more likely than foreign-born to breastfeed exclusively and White mothers were the most likely to breastfeed exclusively. In 2012, four New Jersey hospitals were designated as Baby-Friendly in recognition of their successful implementation of the World Health Organization's Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding. The four hospitals are Inspira Medical Center - Elmer, Capital Health Medical Center - Hopewell, CentraState Medical Center, and Jersey Shore University Medical Center.

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.

Available Services

La Leche League provides mother-to-mother breastfeeding support. A local group can be found at [] NJDOH Breastfeeding Info: [] US Department of Health and Human Services Breastfeeding Info: [] National Breastfeeding Helpline in both English and Spanish: 1-800-994-9662
Page Content Updated On 11/08/2017, Published on 11/08/2017
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 Fri, 23 March 2018 14:43:46 from Department of Health, New Jersey State Health Assessment Data Web site: ".

Content updated: Wed, 28 Feb 2018 05:01:06 EST