The State of Nebraska wants to recognize businesses who do what they can to accommodate employees who are also breastfeeding mothers.
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health; the Breastfeeding Coalition and the Women’s Health Advisory Council have partnered to launch a new program to recognize breastfeeding-friendly businesses that provide a supportive environment for breastfeeding employees.
Any organization that has a supportive environment for breastfeeding mothers can be nominated by its employees or patrons.
“Federal law requires that businesses must provide a private space for lactating women to express milk in the workplace, according to the 2010 Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA),” said Dr. Joann Schaefer, Nebraska’s Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). “The Breastfeeding-Friendly Business Recognition Program celebrates those businesses finding creative solutions to support their breastfeeding mothers.”
In June, over 4,000 Nebraska businesses received information on the provision to the FSLA in support of nursing mothers. The information, which was sent by DHHS and the Nebraska Department of Labor, included resources and guidelines on how businesses can accommodate employees who breastfeed.
Breastfeeding reduces the risk of obesity for both the infant and the mother, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and a Mutual of Omaha study reported a yearly savings of $115,881 in health care claims among families enrolled in a lactation support program.
The DHHS Physical Activity and Nutrition State Plan has also chosen, “increased support for breastfeeding in the workplace” as a priority strategy.
Some of the criteria that businesses must meet to receive recognition include: access to a private room (other than a bathroom) with supportive amenities, flexible breaks, an informal or formal staff policy, and a welcoming atmosphere for breastfeeding mothers.
Nominations are ongoing and can be completed by a business representative, employee or customer. Businesses will be recognized quarterly with annual awards of excellence every August. Submit an online nomination at the link below.