Hackensack University Medical Center Celebrates World Breastfeeding Week

August 3, 2017

Encourages breastfeeding to improve the health of babies during annual recognition week, August 1 – 7

Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center joins hospitals around the world to educate and promote breastfeeding of newborns during the first six months of life during World Breastfeeding Week.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), breast milk is known to provide both nourishment and therapeutic benefits to an infant, yielding critical immunological and developmental support that cannot be replicated in formula. In addition, women who breastfeed are less likely to develop breast and ovarian cancer and children are less likely to develop diseases such as obesity and diabetes later in life.

“The Lactation Team at Hackensack University Medical Center is dedicated to creating a standard of lactation education that increases both patient and staff knowledge of breastfeeding,” said Elizabeth Polanco, RN, administrative director, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Donna A Sanzari Women’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center.  “Providing support to all breastfeeding families is one of the cornerstones of obstetrical care. A service’s successful implementation of a comprehensive lactation program can have a positive impact on the quality of patient care. Our overall goal is to improve breastfeeding support, which ultimately leads to an increase in exclusivity and a decrease in morbidity and readmission rates.”

Joanne Wells, Trisha Voltaire, Jeanette De Primo, Diana Monteleon, Carmen Fuentes, Christine Perdon and Daren Buzzerio are specially trained registered nurses who have been awarded certification by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE), to provide helpful information and encouragement to moms by teaching breastfeeding basics and assisting in designing a breastfeeding plan that meets specific goals. They work with patients to support breastfeeding during their hospital stay and beyond.

“It is important that all new mothers and their families feel reassured and by their postpartum experience at our medical center,” said Elizabeth Bigos, RN, nurse manager, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center. “This experience is also critical to breastfeeding success—and our lactation team is dedicated to educating and supporting our patients. It is of vital importance that a new mother who is discharged from our service feels confident in her ability to provide her baby with the opportunity for optimal health beginning with a successful breastfeeding experience where she gave birth.”

Hackensack Meridian Health Jersey Shore University Medical Center and Hackensack University Medical Center were recently among the first to be recognized as a “NJ Breastfeeding Friendly Worksites” by the New Jersey Breastfeeding Coalition (NJBC) for breastfeeding supportive practices. This includes providing the availability of reasonable breaks for mothers who are employees to express milk or to nurse their child, and access to a private space for expressing milk or nursing their child.

About Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center
Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center, a 775-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, NJ, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. Founded in 1888 as the county’s first hospital, it is now part of one of the largest networks in the state comprised of 28,000 team members and more than 6,000 physicians. Hackensack University Medical Center was listed as the number one hospital in New Jersey in U.S. News & World Report’s 2016-17 Best Hospital rankings – maintaining its place atop the NJ rankings since the rating system was introduced. It was also named one of the top four New York Metro Area hospitals. Hackensack University Medical Center is one of only five major academic medical centers in the nation to receive Healthgrades America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award for five or more years in a row. Becker’s Hospital Review recognized Hackensack University Medical Center as one of the 100 Great Hospitals in America 2017. The medical center is one of the top 25 green hospitals in the country according to Practice Greenhealth, and received 25 Gold Seals of Approval™ by The Joint Commission – more than any other hospital in the country. It was the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet® recognized hospital for nursing excellence; receiving its fifth consecutive designation in 2014. Hackensack University Medical Center has created an entire campus of award-winning care, including: the John Theurer Cancer Center; the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital and Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital, which was designed with The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center and listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. Hackensack University Medical Center is the Hometown Hospital of the New York Giants and the New York Red Bulls and is Official Medical Services Provider to The Northern Trust PGA Golf Tournament. It remains committed to its community through fundraising and community events especially the Tackle Kids Cancer Campaign providing much needed research at the Children’s Cancer Institute housed at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital. To learn more, visit www.HackensackUMC.org.