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Breastfeeding

Women’s Health Education to Help Mothers & Babies Thrive

When you deliver your baby at RWJBarnabas Health, you can take comfort in knowing that all of our mother/baby units are staffed by specially trained lactation consultants who can support you with breastfeeding your child. Even prior to your delivery, we offer workshops designed to help you get the confidence and skills necessary to properly breastfeed and achieve the satisfaction of feeding your baby as nature intended.

Breastmilk is the perfect food for babies, as it contains immunity-boosting antibodies and special enzymes that simply cannot be carbon-copied in baby formula. However, many mothers find breastfeeding challenging and worry they are failing their baby because they find it too challenging to do, especially for months on end. At our mother/baby unit at RWJBarnabas Health, we help new mothers learn how to breastfeed with confidence and overcome any of the common challenges mothers can face.

How Can I Breastfeed?

Your registered nurse at RWJBarnabas Health is also a specially trained lactation consultant and can help you breastfeed your baby in the first hours after they are born. Although infants are born with a suckling instinct, it doesn’t mean they will instinctively breastfeed without guidance. As the mother, you’ll need to learn how to get your baby in the right position and help your baby latch on to the nipple. That’s because babies must be in the right place to receive the sensory cues where they can smell the breastmilk, hear the mother’s heartbeat and breathing, and feel her touch.

Why Breastfeed?

Breastfeeding is highly beneficial both for a mother and her baby, but just because it is a beautiful and natural way to nourish your infant, it doesn’t mean it comes naturally. Just because it doesn’t always come easily for many women, as many as 60% of American mothers don’t breastfeed for as long as they intend to. Breastfeeding may seem like an impossible challenge for young mothers facing their infants having trouble, worrying about milk supply issues, painful breast engorgement, cracked or sore nipples, breastmilk leaking, feeling shy about nursing in public, and even finding time to pump between infant-feeding sessions.

Mothers can feed their infants either through nursing or by preparing formula, but there are unique benefits to breastfeeding. These include:

  • Bonding: Skin-on-skin contact between mother and infant releases the “bonding hormone,” oxytocin. This is a biological phenomenon that helps the mother and baby connect emotionally.
  • Protective for baby: Breastmilk contains antibodies to protect the newborn from common illnesses like the common cold and flu, and other viruses, before the baby is told enough to be vaccinated. It is also the most natural food source for growing babies to digest.
  • Protective for mother: Studies have shown that breastfeeding lowers the mother's risk of breast or ovarian cancer later in life.
  • Always prepared: Instead of having to sterilize baby bottles and prepare formula and warm it up, your breastmilk is always ready, at the right temperature, and contains the perfect nutrients for the growing baby.
  • Financially beneficial: Formula feeding can be a significant expense, and some families may spend hundreds of dollars on it per month, and thousands of dollars every year. Breastfeeding is free!
  • Help the mother burn calories: Many mothers are eager to get back to their “pre-baby” shape after childbirth, and the good news is that breastfeeding can help moms burn an average of 500 calories per day.

Help When You Get Home

Once you return home with your new baby in tow, it can be nerve-racking to be “on your own” when it comes to breastfeeding. Don’t worry. You can call RWJBarnabas Health to speak to a certified lactation consultant to ask non-emergent breastfeeding questions during regular business hours. If your breastfeeding question is more urgent, we advise you to call your baby’s pediatrician. You can also call the National Breastfeeding Helpline at 800-994-9662 for peer counselor assistance in English or Spanish.



Saint Barnabas Medical Center
94 Old Short Hills Road
Livingston, NJ 07039
(973) 322-5000
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Monmouth Medical Center
300 Second Avenue
Long Branch, NJ 07740
(732) 222-5200
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Clara Maass Medical Center
1 Clara Maass Drive
Belleville, NJ 07109
(973) 450-2000
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Community Medical Center
99 Highway 37 West
Toms River, NJ 08755
(732) 557-8000
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Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
201 Lyons Avenue at Osborne Terrace
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000
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Jersey City Medical Center
355 Grand Street
Jersey City, NJ 07302
(201) 915-2000
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Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
1 Robert Wood Johnson Place
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 828-3000
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RWJ University Hospital Rahway
865 Stone Street
Rahway, NJ 07065
(732) 381-4200
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RWJ University Hospital Somerset
110 Rehill Avenue
Somerville, NJ 08876
(908) 685-2200
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