New Jerseys’ Department of Health is pushing a pro-breast feeding campaign in hopes of increasing its breast-feeding rates as well as to improve the over health of mothers and infants.
Usually these movements, although they aim to better overall health, leave some mothers feeling ostracized and almost “un-motherly” if they don’t choose to breast feed; however, New Jerseys’ new guidelines, which do promote breast feeding, also leave mothers with a choice.
With these health rules set in place, hospitals will have lactation-support rooms for consultation, breast-feeding and pumping. After a mother gives birth, nurses always ask if they want to breast feed, and although it will still be a choice, nurses will try and promote mothers to do so. If a mother, however, chooses not to or is having problems, the hospital will offer an array of formula alternatives that are just as healthy.
"Putting these standards in place is going to give everybody a head start," said Theresa Rejrat, vice president of patient care services and chief nursing officer at University Hospital in Newark. "Breast milk has everything in it that the developing child needs for a good, healthy life," she added.
Suzanna Barston, author of "Bottled Up" and the blog "The Fearless Formula Feeder," feels that campaigns such as New York’s “Latch-On NYC” make mothers feel guilt if they don’t want to breast feed and responsible if a child has poor health. Barston feels that New Jerseys’ campaign is unlike the others, and after reading the proposed amendments, came to the conclusion that it offers more freedom of choice.
If hospitals change their guidelines to support breast-feeding before and after birth, New Jersey will join as one of the only four states, currently including – New York, California and Massachusetts – that have written policies that support breast feeding.
New Jersey will be accepting public commentary on its pro-breast feeding guidelines until April 5.
Edited by Allison Boccamazzo