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Become designated as a breastfeeding friendly workplace!
Rice County Public Health and Rice County WIC strongly support breastfeeding. We know that breastfeeding is important for both mother and baby.
More than 80 percent of new mothers participating in Minnesota WIC programs choose to breastfeed, but unfortunately only 35 percent of them are still breastfeeding six months after the birth of their infant.
Challenges in the workplace setting can make breast feeding difficult. In fact, lack of workplace support is one of the primary reasons cited by moms for a decrease in breastfeeding continuation.
Federal and Minnesota Laws require employers to provide support for nursing employees to pump breastmilk at work. Generally, lactation support initiatives cost little, and studies show they result in a $3 return for every $1 invested.
The benefits of providing accommodations for nursing mothers include increased employee loyalty, reduced turnover, and increased productivity. Businesses may also see a reduction in health-care costs, as studies have shown that breastfeeding not only boosts an infant’s immune system—meaning fewer trips to the doctor—but it also lowers the mother’s risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and breast and ovarian cancer.
Businesses that support breastfeeding employees are eligible for recognition by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) as a Minnesota Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace. Learn more at http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/oshii/bf/BFFworkplace.html.
In addition, Rice County Public Health staff and the Rice County WIC program can help support breastfeeding moms. Please contact us for more information.
Sara Coulter, Rice County Public Health Clinic & Community Supervisor, (507) 332-5910
Kathy Neirby, Rice County WIC Coordinator, (507) 332-5906
Sara Folsted, Rice County Administrator, (507) 332-6121