Mother-Baby Friendly Workplace Awards

Each year in May, the California Breastfeeding Coalition recognizes businesses for their exemplary efforts to support lactating employees by creating breastfeeding policies, ensuring all staff are aware of their polices and talking with expectant mothers about accommodating their breastfeeding needs when they return to work. These criteria ensure compliance with existing California and Federal laws requiring employers to provide time and space for employees who want to express their milk.

We are pleased to announce the 2017 Awardees!  Honorees were presented with their awards on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017 in Sacramento, sponsored by Senator Richard Pan of Senate District 6. 

Anderson Valley Health Center in Mendocino County not only prioritizes their patients by providing high-quality health care, but also prioritizes their employee’s individual needs. In the last two years alone, the Health Center has supported four lactating mothers, which has facilitated five babies to be successfully breastfed meeting each individual mother’s breastfeeding goal! The employees have flexible options to provide breastmilk to their babies. Mothers can leave the worksite to nurse during work hours, to nurse babies on-site, or pump in the spacious private room with a comfortable seating area, sink, electrical outlets and pump. The employees consider this Health Center incredibly mother-baby friendly and a fantastic pro-breastfeeding work place.

Delta Health Care located in San Joaquin County has created an extremely supportive environment for breastfeeding employees by normalizing breastfeeding through a flexible accommodation policy, breastfeeding promotion and education to all staff, and having an open door communication policy. They provide employees with multiple options of where to express milk, such as a breastfeeding nook, an office or wherever the employee feels comfortable. In addition, the employee is provided with access to a breast pump and supplies. Stated by one employee, “It truly is amazing to work in an office and for a company that is so supportive and flexible. I am successfully breastfeeding/pumping because they’ve been so accommodating.”

As a designated Baby-Friendly Hospital located in Los Angeles County that is dedicated to supporting the breastfeeding needs of its patients and employees, Greater El Monte Community Hospital inaugurated a “Mother’s Lounge” for lactating employees. The Lounge is a converted office that locks internally and is outfitted with a sink, refrigerator, comfortable heated massage chair, and pump. Pregnant employees are informed about accommodations by HR prior to the beginning their family leave and upon returning from family leave. The hospital lactation consultant serves as continued support and resource for the employee. Staff has stated that they are thankful to have a clean, quiet, and private space to express milk. It has helped them to maintain regular pumping schedules.

The LA BioMed WIC Program has 250 employees and has made every effort to ensure that breastfeeding employees have a place to pump according to each employee needs. They provide a supportive environment by allowing for extended break time to pump, providing a hospital grade electric breast pump and refrigerator, and connecting the employee to a breastfeeding peer counselor for continued education and support. The written breastfeeding policy is presented to all staff with emphasis on how the breastfeeding mom needs everyone’s support. Their goal is to always create a culture of support for lactating moms who pump at work so that she can be successful with her breastfeeding goals.

Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association (LACERA) located in Los Angeles County has a special “Lactation Support Program” that offers a breastfeeding-friendly workplace and accommodates the needs of breastfeeding employees. LACERA has a designated Lactation Room that provides privacy, comfort, and sanitation for lactating mothers. They are proactive in orienting employees about the Program prior to maternity leave. Additionally, return to work consultation is provided. The Program also includes a meeting with the employee and the supervisor upon return from maternity leave to establish a work schedule that facilitates the employee’s lactating needs. LACERA surveyed their current nursing mothers and overall the consensus was that the Program increased workplace satisfaction, respect, support, appreciation for nursing and working mothers. The mothers view LACERA as a family-friendly workplace because the Lactation Support Program is offered as a value-added benefit that is encouraged and shared with all LACERA employees.

McSwain Elementary School, a small school district with two campuses located in Merced, has invested efforts into increasing wellness for both the students and the employees. This includes the School Board adopting a gold standard lactation accommodation policy to ensure women returning to work have ample space and time to express her milk or feed her baby directly. The policy ensures the onus to have class time or yard duty supervised is not on the employee. The Principal or Superintendent will find someone to cover duties as needed. This guarantees that women can pump without feeling worried and pressured with time. An office within the administrative area is used to provide the mother with a place to express milk; however, the mother may choose feed or pump within the classroom as well. Children are always welcome on campus for direct feeding. At McSwain, a healthy environment has been created for mothers to feel supported and to balance their motherhood with the duties at school.

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