The Women's Center is excited to announce that we were awarded the Regional Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Award on behalf of UMBC this November. In recognition of the supportive work environment we provide to breastfeeding families via our lactation room and services, we were awarded the "Large" business size category at the Gold level of support from the D.C. and Maryland Breastfeeding Coalitions.
For more information about the lactation room in the Women's Center and UMBC's policies of family leave and support, visit the myUMBC Moms and Parents Group page.
DCBFC and MBC are nonprofit organizations, which unite breastfeeding advocates, health care providers, and families. They provide a forum for the development and exchange of resources and foster the establishment of breastfeeding as the normal way to nurture infants.
Studies have shown that work-site support of employees enrolled in a company provided lactation support program is a Win-Win situation. Employers benefit through increased rates of retention, employee satisfaction and morale. The health benefits of breastfeeding for mother and baby equate to decreased health care and insurance costs, and a reduction in sick leave requests to care for an ill child.
Support for breastfeeding mothers is part of the 2010 Affordable Health Care Act, which stipulates that employers must provide reasonable break time and a space, other than a bathroom, for a mother to express her milk. “Despite these regulations, nursing mothers are not always provided these supports in the workplace. The Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Awards seek to highlight and applaud those businesses and the varied creative ways they help women in the workplace”, says Dr. Sahira Long, President of the DC Breastfeeding Coalition. Previous winners have demonstrated how this can range from a small room to a large program replete with lactation consultants and support groups.
“Each one of the businesses receiving a Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace
Award or a Health Care Provider Award is a role model for our region in how to support breastfeeding families. We are so proud to honor them,” says Dr. Dana Silver, Past President of the Maryland Breastfeeding Coalition.
Businesses were judged based on their size and the accommodations they provided to breastfeeding employees (breastfeeding support and education, and the time and space for mothers to breastfeed and/or pump breast milk in the workplace). Based on the number of amenities and processes to support breastfeeding, businesses received the awards at Gold, Silver or Bronze level.
Criteria for Health Care Provider Awards were based on the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine’s Breastfeeding-Friendly Physician’s Office Protocol. These offices represent healthcare providers who go the extra mile to support their tiniest patients and their mothers.
For more information about the Maryland Breast Feeding Coalition, click here.