Designation recognizes hospitals that encourage and support breastfeeding
for new mothers

Newark, New Jersey – As part of its ongoing commitment to the care of expectant mothers, postpartum parents and their babies, University Hospital (UH), New Jersey’s only public academic medical center and the premier teaching hospital for all Newark-based medical education , including Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine, today announced that the Hospital has been redesignated as Baby Friendly Hospital® by Baby Friendly USA (BFUSA). UH was the first hospital in Essex County to receive this designation when it received the initial designation in 2016.

The program encourages mothers to breastfeed their newborns and promotes a rooming-in policy where babies spend most of their first few days in their mother’s maternity room. This facilitates access to the baby for breastfeeding and promotes skin-to-skin contact.

“University Hospital is very proud to be redesignated a Baby-Friendly Hospital®, reinforcing our ongoing efforts to focus on the comprehensive care needs of mothers in our community and their babies. This honor, in particular, focuses on our role as a leading provider of lactation support for new mothers,” said Mary KE Maples, Interim President and CEO, University Hospital. “Our mission challenges us to partner with our communities to deliver exceptional care to every patient, every time. Adhering to the Child Friendly principles allows us to do just that.”

“Our partners at University Hospital continue to play a key role in advancing Nurture NJ’s mission to make New Jersey the gold standard for maternal and child health. In fact, one of the recommendations in Nurture NJ’s strategic plan is to increase the number of Baby Friendly hospitals in our state to support new mothers and their babies. The redesignation of the Hospital as Baby Friendly Hospital® It’s another step toward making New Jersey the safest and most equal state in the country to give birth and raise a baby.” said New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy.

Approximately 1,600 babies are born each year at University Hospital, an average of more than four births a day. In addition to the number of births, the Hospital performs more than 24,000 prenatal visits per year and has a staff of 40 certified physicians (from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School) and registered nurses in labor and delivery who care for new mothers, babies and their families. .

“The health and well-being of our new mothers and their babies is a priority for University Hospital. We encourage each of our new mothers to breastfeed as it offers newborns the best option for regular feeding. The Baby-Friendly® designation reflects our commitment to providing a safe space for breastfeeding support and education,” said Maria Brennan, DNP, RN, CPHQ, Director of Nursing at HU.

University Hospital proudly ranks among the lowest cesarean rates of all hospitals in New Jersey, has the most successful rates of vaginal delivery after cesarean (VBAC) and claims to have one of the lowest rates of episiotomy in the state. In addition to serving mothers with standard pregnancies, University Hospital’s Regional Perinatal Center cares for some of the state’s most complicated pregnancies and clinically fragile newborns. The Center provides ancillary services such as counseling for women with chronic health conditions, assessment and prevention for mothers at high risk of premature birth, and care for pregnant women with significant medical issues such as hypertension, heart disease, immunodeficiency conditions, opioid addiction and diabetes.

“The first few days of a baby’s life are a crucial time for the parent’s bond with the newborn. Providing the best possible encouragement and support for breastfeeding is very important,” he said. Lynda Arnold, MHA, RN, Director of Family Health Services at UH. “As we continue to build on the success of our maternity care program, it is appointments like this that reinforce our passionate team’s commitment to providing our patients with quality care at every stage of life.”

Also at the HU, funding from the University Hospital Foundation allows mothers and their babies to obtain the necessary resources before leaving the Hospital. This includes supplies and equipment such as electric breast pumps, nursing pads, car seats and transportation. To learn more or support this work, call 973-973-1873 or visit

In 1991, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), a global program to encourage the large-scale implementation of Ten steps to successful breastfeeding. BFHI helps hospitals provide mothers with the information, confidence and skills they need to successfully initiate and continue to breastfeed their babies. Where patients have a medical indication or have made an informed decision to use formula, the designation also certifies the safe preparation and feeding of infant formula. The BFHI program works with national authorities around the world to verify the Baby-Friendly® designation in your country. More than 20,000 maternity hospitals in 150 countries around the world have earned Baby-Friendly designation.

The reassignment, which is part of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, is granted for a period of five years, and is based on a rigorous on-site assessment survey, completion of all necessary corrective actions, successful implementation of the Ten steps to successful breastfeedingand the availability of breast-milk substitutes.

“The criteria are challenging as they are designed to set the standards for the best possible breastfeeding support for mother and baby in the maternity setting,” he said. Becky Fallon, MSN, RN, BFUSA Accreditation Director. “Achieving standards has definite costs, both in human and financial resources, but the savings in terms of quality of care provided, the resulting decrease in morbidity and mortality associated with optimal breastfeeding, and client satisfaction are worth the investment.”

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About University Hospital

University Hospital is part of one of the nation’s premier academic medical centers and is North New Jersey’s Level 1 Trauma Center. Located in University Heights in Newark, University Hospital is the flagship teaching hospital for Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences and a regional resource for advanced services in many medical specialties. For more information about the University Hospital, visit

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