Worksites supportive of breastfeeding lead to lower costs, employee loyalty and healthier babies
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
September 11, 2014 Contact: William Gerrish
Hartford -- The Connecticut Department of Public Health and the Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition are offering a new program to assist businesses help employed moms meet their goals for breastfeeding by adopting supportive breastfeeding policies.
State health officials said that breastfeeding helps prevent overweight and obesity, diabetes, asthma and many other diseases, and is one of the most highly effective preventive measures a mother can take to protect the health of her infant and herself. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all babies be breastfed for at least one year and longer if mother and baby desire because of the documented health benefits associated with breastfeeding.
Although three fourths of all babies start out being breastfed, only 13 percent are exclusively breastfed six months later. Rates are significantly lower for African-American infants. When moms return to work after their babies are born, time and space to express their milk during the work period help them continue to give their best to their work and their baby.
“When worksites support their employees in continuing to breastfeed, everyone wins,” said DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “Employers are rewarded with reduced absenteeism, lower health care costs, and increased employee productivity and loyalty. Mothers and babies are rewarded with health benefits, cost savings, and the opportunity to enjoy the special bond of breastfeeding even when separations are necessary.”
Connecticut businesses are invited to join the Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite Program. The program helps employers provide supportive worksite policies, such as privacy to express milk and flexible break times, to comply with Connecticut laws supporting nursing mothers in the workplace. The program also formally recognizes employers who do.
Online resources and technical assistance to assist participating businesses are available at no cost. For more information, please visit www.breastfeedingct.org or call (860) 509-8261.