Workplace Breastfeeding Made Easier
Not so many years ago, a working mother was faced with a choice: stay home during the first year of her child’s life so that she could breastfeed, or express milk in a restroom or other non-private location so that she could work, which often influenced the mother’s decision to stop breastfeeding early.
Workplace breastfeeding accommodations have come a long way, and with help from the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, most working mothers are provided reasonable, unpaid break time (10-15 minutes, three times a day) and a private space other than a restroom to express breast milk for her nursing child.
Businesses that support breastfeeding mothers also enjoy lower health care costs, reduced absenteeism, and lower employee turnover.
During World Breastfeeding Week, August 1 – 7, 2013, the Sedgwick County Health Department continues to focus on breastfeeding among working mothers by reminding businesses of the importance of becoming lactation supportive workplaces. Businesses interested in developing a lactation support program may contact the health department for assistance with policy development and even to obtain basic equipment for a lactation support room, including a chair, small refrigerator, and electric breast pump.
To receive assistance beginning or promoting a lactation support program at your workplace, and to apply for the equipment, contact Becky Tuttle at the Sedgwick County Health Department at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 316-660-7251.