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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
October 17, 2011

Mary E. O'Dowd, M.P.H.
Commissioner

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Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160


 
Department of Health and Senior Services and CentraState Medical Center Convene Breastfeeding Roundtable


 

On Wednesday, October 19,  New Jersey Health and Senior Services Commissioner Mary O’Dowd  will join with CentraState Medical Center in Freehold to convene a roundtable discussion about how health care providers can increase the number of women who exclusively breastfeed in New Jersey.

 

Topics discussed at the panel will include how to remove barriers to breastfeeding, steps providers can take to encourage moms to breastfeed and resources in the community that can support mothers who are breastfeeding after hospital discharge. Roundtable participants include a mom who recently delivered at CentraState Medical Center, maternal and child health experts, and health care leaders.

 

Additionally, the discussion will also focus on New Jersey’s efforts to promote the Baby Friendly Hospitals Initiative, which is a World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF program that recognizes hospitals that promote and support breastfeeding, by implementing appropriate policies, practices and staff education.  Earlier this year, the Department awarded CentraState Medical Center and nine other maternity hospitals with $10,000 grants to support their implementation of the Baby Friendly Hospitals Initiative.

 

This roundtable discussion will take place at the Auditorium at CentraState Medical Center’s Star and Barry Tobias Ambulatory Campus located at 901 West Main Street, Freehold at 11am.  Following the conclusion of the roundtable discussion, hospital officials will provide a tour of CentraState’s Health Awareness Center and maternity ward.

 

Click here for driving directions to the Star and Barry Tobias Ambulatory Campus.

 

In New Jersey, most babies, 75 percent, are breastfed at birth, but by hospital discharge, half already have been given formula and by 12 months only 24 percent are being breastfed at all.  Research shows that hospital policies specifically designed to support breastfeeding can dramatically increase exclusive breastfeeding rates resulting in reduced risk of pediatric overweight, decreased incidence of infectious diseases and protection against obesity and other chronic diseases.   

 

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