Newswise — Red Bank, NJJanuary 17, 2018 – In an effort to commend, celebrate and increase the number of New Jersey worksites that support breastfeeding employees, the New Jersey Breastfeeding Coalition (NJBC) has selected Hackensack Meridian Health Riverview Medical Center located in Red Bank, as a “NJ Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite.”

Riverview Medical Center was recognized for important breastfeeding supportive practices, including providing the availability of reasonable breaks and private space to express milk or to nurse their child.

“Studies show that simple worksite support practices increase the duration of breastfeeding among employed mothers,” says Kay O’Keefe, an NJBC trustee. “Research also shows that breastfed babies have fewer illnesses contributing to less employee absenteeism.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding, as research has revealed short-term and lifelong health benefits for mother and child. However, many mothers cite return to work as a reason for early discontinuation of breastfeeding.

“Returning to work after the birth of a baby can be a difficult transition for any mom, but for breastfeeding mothers, this transition often comes with its own set of challenges,” says Mara Warehime, a registered nurse at Riverview Medical Center. “The lactation room at Riverview Medical Center is private, clean and comfortable and also has a refrigerator for storing breast milk. Having the lactation room just down the hall from my unit made my return to work much more seamless and I not only felt supported but extremely grateful!”

The breastfeeding room at Riverview Medical Center was established in 2017 and contains a comfortable chair, refrigerator for milk storage, hand sanitizer, bathroom access and contact information for lactation support. The room is private and available only to team members.

“It’s important for new mothers to feel supported when they return to work,” says Cassandra Leahy, MSN, BA, RN, IBCLC, LCCE, a board certified lactation consultant within the Riverview Medical Center Lactation Department. “Providing a supportive environment to encourage our mothers to combine breastfeeding and employment is one easy way to help make the transition back to work a little easier.”

The NJBC encourages all employers to learn about and become a breastfeeding-friendly worksite and then to complete the simple self-assessment at Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center and Hackensack Meridian Health Jersey Shore University Medical Center have also been recognized for their support of breastfeeding mothers at work by the NJBC.

About the New Jersey Breastfeeding Coalition

The New Jersey Breastfeeding Coalition is a collaboration of health professionals and community representatives whose mission is to improve the health of New Jersey families by working collaboratively to promote, protect and support breastfeeding. For more information about the New Jersey Breastfeeding Coalition, visit


About Hackensack Meridian Health Riverview Medical Center

Riverview Medical Center is a 492-bed not-for-profit community hospital located on the Navesink River in Red Bank, New Jersey. Riverview Medical Center provides health care programs and services in all major medical disciplines including: maternity, surgical services, emergency and critical cancer services. Riverview’s Cancer Care Center offers comprehensive cancer services close to home, while Riverview’s Jane H. Booker Women and Children’s Center combines expertise and convenience to address preventative health, diagnosis, treatment, and support for women of all ages. Riverview Rehabilitation Center is Monmouth County’s only fully-accredited inpatient rehabilitation facility, and Riverview Medical Center is a designated Primary Stroke Center and has also maintained prestigious Magnet designation for Nursing Excellence since 1998. Riverview Medical Center is the only hospital in the region with the groundbreaking CyberKnife® system, offering new hope for patients with inaccessible or inoperable tumors. For more information about Riverview Medical Center and Hackensack Meridian Health, please call 1-800-DOCTORS or visit