Background: In June 2010, the Communities Putting Prevention to Work program (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) funded a New Jersey (NJ) Office on Nutrition and Fitness, Department of Health and Senior Services project to reduce obesity and increase exclusive breastfeeding by increased implementation of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in the state of NJ. At baseline, NJ had no Baby-Friendly hospitals and no hospital was using an infant feeding policy that conformed to standards required by Baby-Friendly USA for designation.
Goal: To create a model infant feeding policy that would be adaptable for use at multiple NJ hospitals preparing for Baby-Friendly designation.
Methods: Project consultants created a policy based on existent policies from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, certified Baby-Friendly hospitals, and guidance from Baby-Friendly USA. This policy was submitted to Baby-Friendly USA, the US body responsible for Baby-Friendly designation.
Results: Baby-Friendly USA requested changes; after adaptations, the policy was made available to targeted NJ hospitals via a statewide portal. The hospitals made relevant adaptations for their setting, and those that were ready submitted the policy during the Baby-Friendly designation process. The policy was acceptable to Baby-Friendly USA.
Conclusion: A collaborative initiative can use a single breastfeeding policy template as an aid toward Baby-Friendly designation. Such work streamlines the process and saves time and resources.