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You can become a “Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace” with the help of your local Health Department

City of Appleton Health Department – Now, more than ever it is critical to support lactating parents in the workplace. The nationwide formula shortage has left families desperate to find food for their babies.

Human milk provides the best nutrition for our babies and amid formula contamination and shortage, could be lifesaving.  The majority of women in our country intend to breastfeed their infants.  This is demonstrated by an 84.1% initiation rate, unfortunately continued breastfeeding declines over time and significantly so, when parents return to work.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends “exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, followed by continued breastfeeding as complementary foods are introduced, with continuation of breastfeeding for 2 years or longer as mutually desired by mother and infant.” Only 25.6% of babies are exclusively breastfeed through 6 months. 

Workplaces have an opportunity and legal obligation to support lactating employees. The federal law, Break Time for Nursing Mothers, requires employers to provide reasonable break time and a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion for an employee to express breast milk. 

Helping employees achieve work life balance will lead to more satisfied, loyal, and productive employees and cost savings to the business. Not only will you see cost savings related to retention, but the health benefits provided by breastfeeding for both mom and baby will reduce sick time taken and lower health care and insurance costs.  Being a family friendly employer will attract new employees.

If you are interested in learning more about how to support lactating employees contact your local health department.  They can provide one on one assistance, sample policies, and sample spaces. You could even earn designation as a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace.   


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