The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and its state partners today released the updated breastfeeding support NC Making It Work toolkit.
More than 80% of women choose to breastfeed and supporting them at work benefits businesses and the families. The Making It Work toolkit provides clear steps and solutions to business owners, managers and families for supporting breastfeeding mothers at work:
- Making It Work: Employers Supporting Breastfeeding Families
- Making It Work: Breastfeeding Moms Returning to Work or School
- Making It Work: Supporting Worksite Lactation Accommodations
- Making It Work: Family Members Supporting Breastfeeding
- Making It Work: Advocating for Breastfeeding Accommodations
“Research shows breastfeeding is good for not only the family, but for employers and communities as a whole,” said Mark Benton, DHHS Assistant Secretary for Public Health. “We are proud to support our breastfeeding staff at the Division of Public Health by providing private lactation accommodations.”
Employers gain a competitive advantage supporting breastfeeding parents with as much as a 3-to-1 return on investment through lower health care costs, less absenteeism, less turnover, improved productivity and greater employee loyalty. Breastfed infants, in turn, have fewer ear infections, respiratory infections, and digestive problems and are less likely to die from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), less likely to develop cancer or diabetes in their lifetime and less likely to be obese later in life.
Cumberland County Health Department expressed how the Solutions for Non-Office Environments section of the Employers Supporting Breastfeeding Families document supported their local businesses and organizations in identifying creative solutions for providing a private place for nursing mothers to express breast milk at work. They stated the Good for Business section underscored for county employers the impact they have on the health and well-being of mothers and children in their community.
The My Lactation and Work Plan found in the Breastfeeding Moms Returning to Work or School document gives moms a template for things to discuss with their employer to make their return to work and breastfeeding experience the best it can be for them, their baby and their employer.
“Our goal is to facilitate collaborative community work that promotes an environment of genuine breastfeeding support for all families,” said Connie McLendon, Chair of the North Carolina Breastfeeding Coalition. “We often hear of situations where use of the Making It Work toolkit could ease the transition of returning to work and clarify expectations on the part of both the family and the employer. We share this resource as the roadmap for communities to work together advocating, implementing, improving and sustaining workplace lactation support.”
The resources in this toolkit are available in English and Spanish and are provided to support the health of children by the partners of this project — the NCDHHS Division of Public Health, the NC Breastfeeding Coalition, Eat Smart Move More North Carolina and MomsRising.