BREASTFEEDING COALITIONS & DR. RICHARD PAN HOLD CALIFORNIA MOTHER-BABY
FRIENDLY WORKPLACE AWARDS
EMPLOYERS PLAY A ROLE IN SUPPORTING BREASTFEEDING EMPLOYEES
SACRAMENTO, CA, May 25, 2017…This week at the State Capitol, Senator Pan hosted the Mother-Baby Friendly
Workplace Awards in collaboration with the California Breastfeeding Coalition
and the Sacramento Breastfeeding Coalition to recognize businesses that
have successfully addressed workplace barriers for breastfeeding mothers.
Over a dozen businesses across California were recognized for their exemplary
efforts to adhere to California and Federal law by creating breastfeeding
human resource policies, ensuring all staff are aware of their polices
and talk with expectant mothers about accommodating their breastfeeding
needs when they return to work.
“Breastfeeding is one of the best preventative health measures for
both babies and mothers,” said Dr. Pan, a pediatrician and State
Senator representing the 6th District. "It is my pleasure to honor
businesses that do their part and create breastfeeding policies to ensure
that mothers can breastfeed longer.”
As more and more mothers work outside the home, and evidence-based research
consistently confirms that breastfeeding benefits the health of both mothers
and babies, some workplaces are doing their part to encourage and support
women who are breastfeeding their children.
“My manager at Anthem Blue Cross Medi-Cal ensured that I had adequate
time for my scheduled breaks allowing me extra time to get settled in
the nursing room. I was able to pump without feeling any pressure. Without
the support of my manager and "Mother's Room" available
to all Anthem Blue Cross associates pumping, I would not have been able
to pump and breastfeed my baby for the full recommended 12 months,”
says, mom, Katie Lazaruz
Despite state and federal protections for breastfeeding women in the workplace,
not all working mothers have equal access to workplace breastfeeding support.
According to the California Department of Public Health’s Maternal
and Infant Health Assessment survey, only half of moms report having workplace
support. Moms with lower household incomes are less likely to have workplace
breastfeeding support than moms with higher household income. It also
found that that moms with workplace support are two times more likely
to exclusively breastfeed at three months.
“Support is communicating with the employee before and after she
takes leave, training staff on the support policy, providing a private
place to pump and accommodating sufficient break time to pump,”
says Robbie Gonzalez-Dow, California Breastfeeding Coalition Executive
Director. “I get calls from women who struggle to access this support
from their employers and they see their milk supply decrease soon after
returning to work. It is very sad for them.”
The Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for about
six months of the baby’s life, followed by breastfeeding in combination
with the introduction of complementary food until at least 12 months of
age, and continuation of breastfeeding for as long as mutually desired
by mother and baby.
“We need supportive workplaces if mothers are to achieve the recommendations
of their physicians and their own breastfeeding goal, especially in non-office
job settings,” says Robbie Gonzalez-Dow.
All the businesses recognized demonstrate that helping breastfeeding mothers
succeed can be as simple as providing break time and a private space to
pump breastmilk at work, which is required by law, as well as communicating
with supervisors and employees about the support. Studies show that breastfeeding
mothers who are supported in the workplace take fewer sick days and have
higher retention rates, which is good for employee morale and for businesses’
Recipients of the California Mother-Baby Friendly Workplace Award:
- Anderson Valley Health Center (Boonville/Mendocino County)
- Delta Health Care (Stockton/San Joaquin County)
- Greater El Monte Community Hospital (South El Monte/Los Angeles County)
- LA BioMed WIC Program (Inglewood/Los Angeles County)
- Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association (Pasadena/Los Angeles County)
- McSwain Elementary School (Merced/Merced County)
Recipients of the Sacramento County Mother-Baby Friendly Workplace Award:
- Anthem Blue Cross Medi-Cal
- The Golden Gate Construction Group, Inc.
- California Medical Association
- Community Resources Project Inc.
- The Fringe Salon
- OmegaComp HR
For more information visit the following websites: