Advocates of breast-feeding are praising an overhaul of state regulations requiring hospitals to be more supportive of mothers who are nursing their babies.
Hospitals with obstetric services are required to identify breastfeeding women and babies when they are admitted or enter the emergency department. In addition, the hospitals must train patient-care staff in breastfeeding practices and launch interdisciplinary breastfeeding teams to develop plans to improve breastfeeding practices and remove obstacles to breastfeeding.
The changes, which the state Department of Health adopted on January 21, make New Jersey the fourth state to have regulations supporting mothers who choose to breastfeed, according to experts involved in drafting the regulation. Dr. Lori Feldman-Winter, a breastfeeding expert at Cooper University Hospital, said hospitals across the state -- including Cooper -- have been seeking accreditation as “baby-friendly” hospitals, which part of an international effort to encourage breastfeeding by adopting the World Health Organization’s “10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” Initiative.
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