Two Hospitals Become First in NJ to Receive Baby-Friendly Designation
The New Jersey Breastfeeding Coalition warmly congratulates South Jersey Healthcare Elmer Hospital and Capital Health Medical Center Hopewell on their designations as New Jersey’s first two Baby-Friendly® hospitals.
The designation, awarded by Baby-Friendly, USA, recognizes birth centers that provide the highest level of care in infant feeding. To be deemed a Baby-Friendly® birth hospital, the facility must demonstrate adherence to the “Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” as outline by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO). The Ten Steps are a roadmap for birth facilities in giving mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies or feeding formula safely.
South Jersey Healthcare Elmer, which reports 327 births last year, learned in February that they had achieved Baby-Friendly® status. Capital Health Medical Center Hopewell, which delivered 2500 babies in 2011, learned in March.
The US Centers for Disease Control reports that less than 3% of hospitals providing birthing services in the United States are Baby Friendly designated.
For more information:
SJH Elmer Hospital Earns International Award as Baby-Friendly® Birth Facility
Capital Health Receives Baby Friendly Designation
Breastfeeding Advocates Denounce Newark Partnership with Nestle
To the dismay of state and national breastfeeding advocates, Newark Mayor Cory Booker accepted a $100,000 donation in February to Let’s Move! Newark from Nestle Nutrition USA to provide anti-obesity education as part of its Let’s Move! Newark campaign.
According to information released by the city, the donation will fund a two-year pilot program to be presented in Newark’s 15 Family Success Centers featuring an education program designed to teach parents how to improve their children’s nutrition by promoting better dietary choices and more physical activity.
Breastfeeding advocates and organizations are condemning Newark’s acceptance of the grant from Nestle as an obvious conflict of interest and an effort to undermine breastfeeding. Nestle is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of infant formula and a well-documented violator of the World Health Organization’s Code for the Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. Numerous studies have shown that formula-fed infants are more likely to become overweight or obese during childhood and adulthood. Nestle also is a leading maker of candy.
Let’s Move! Newark was established in 2010 by Mayor Booker as part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! National campaign to address the high rates of childhood obesity in Newark’s children. As compared to 21% of 3-5 year-olds nationally, 45% of Newark’s 3-5 year-olds are overweight or obese. Mrs. Obama has promoted breastfeeding as an important part of anti-obesity strategies.
Chatham-based lactation consultant Maria Parlapiano, RN,IBCLC, has spearheaded efforts to fight the Nestle sponsorship. She started a petition against Newark’s actions on Change.org which has gained over 2,000 signatures. The New Jersey Breastfeeding Coalition has urged all of it members to sign the petition and to contact the city of Newark to protest Nestle’s involvement in Newark programs.
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Coalition Statement on Time Magazine Cover Photo
The New Jersey Breastfeeding Coalition (NJBFC) believes is that breastfeeding beyond infancy into early childhood is biologically normal and is an act of feeding, nurturing and love between a mother and her child. Though not pervasive in the 21st century United States culture, nursing beyond the first year has been a common practice around the world and has been a part of normal mammalian practices for 65 million years. Nursing past infancy is also in accord with the health recommendations of the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Breast milk continues to provide numerous health benefits to young children and continued nursing lowers the risk of many diseases and forms of cancer in the nursing mother. Children who have breastfed beyond infancy form secure bonds of love and trust which serve them positively throughout their lives. The NJBFC is saddened that excessive negative public reaction to this cover photo has led to criticism of committed parents who nurse their children past infancy and practice attachment parenting within a culture that unfortunately fails to support normal biological practices and evidence-based health choices.