Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative | Maternity Care Services

About Our Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative

A Happy Blessing, A Heartfelt Bond, A Healthy Beginning.

Jersey Shore holds a Baby-Friendly® Hospital designation!

Baby-Friendly USA, Inc. is the U.S. authority for the implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The initiative encourages and recognizes hospitals that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. Based on the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding, this award recognizes facilities that offer breastfeeding mothers the information, confidence, and skills needed to successfully initiate and continue breastfeeding their babies. Jersey Shore University Medical Center was the 3rd hospital in New Jersey to receive the designation.

The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative fosters a culture of support for breastfeeding mothers in hospitals, as breastfeeding has proven short term and long term benefits for both mother and baby. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has documented the many benefits of breastfeeding, including a lowered risk of ear and respiratory infections, atopic dermatitis, type 2 diabetes, SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), and a reduction in childhood obesity. Additionally, by protecting against these and other illnesses, medical costs are lowered, as babies who are fed formula tend to require more doctor visits, hospitalizations, and prescriptions. Breastfeeding also benefits the mother, and provides increased protection against ovarian and breast cancers. A recent Yale University study showed that women who breastfed for two years or longer reduced their risk of breast cancer by 50%.

The designation was awarded after a rigorous on-site survey at the hospital demonstrated the successful implementation of the ten steps, including: educating expecting mothers about breastfeeding, helping initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth, and teaching women how to maintain lactation. Baby-Friendly also encourages breastfeeding on demand, and “rooming in” – a mother-infant bonding practice.

“Jersey Shore’s physicians and nurses have worked diligently to earn the Baby-Friendly designation,” says Rose St. Fleur, MD, FAAP, Pediatrician, K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital & Jersey Shore University Medical Center and Member, Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. “Since 2007, Jersey Shore’s rates of mothers who exclusively breastfeed has increased from 28% to 47%. The designation reflects our commitment to creating the healthiest environment for infants and new mothers, and providing valuable information so they can make informed choices about their baby’s health.”

Hackensack Meridian’s President of Hospital Services, Steven G. Littleson, FACHE adds, “Breastfeeding has a profound impact on public health worldwide, and it’s important for hospitals and health care practitioners to serve as breastfeeding advocates. As both a hospital president and a father, I’m proud that Jersey Shore educates new mothers about this powerful and preventive practice, and has earned the Baby-Friendly designation.”

Did You Know?

  • As of March, 2017 20% of U.S. babies are born in hospitals that are designated Baby-Friendly
  • Breastfeeding for 9 months reduces a baby's odds of becoming overweight by more than 30%
  • Even mothers who want to breastfeed have a hard time without hospital support; about 1 mother in 3 stops early without it

Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding
World Health Organization & UNICEF

Every facility providing maternity services & care for newborn infants should:

  • Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
  • Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
  • Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
  • Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within one hour of birth.
  • Show mothers how to breastfeed, and how to maintain lactation even if they are separated from their infants.
  • Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.
  • Practice rooming-in: allow mothers and infants to remain together 24 hours a day.
  • Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
  • Give no rubber nipples or pacifiers to breastfeeding infants.
  • Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups, and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.
Baby-Friendly hospitals and birth centers also uphold the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes by offering education and educational materials that promote human milk rather than other infant food and drinks, and by refusing to accept or distribute free or subsidized supplies of breastmilk substitutes, nipples, and other feeding devices. For more information, please visit


Maternal Care Locations

  • Jersey Shore University Medical Center, 1945 Route 33, Neptune, NJ 07753

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