BREASTFEEDING FRIENDLY EMPLOYER AWARD
Purpose of NH Breastfeeding Friendly Employer Award
The New Hampshire Breastfeeding Task Force aims to promote, protect, and support breastfeeding. Exclusive breastfeeding for at least 6 months after birth is optimal for the health of a mother and her infant. The health benefits of breastfeeding are so well documented that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all infants be breastfed for at least one year and longer if mother and baby desire. Family friendly workplace practices and policies are essential for working mothers to give their babies the healthiest start in life.
Breastfeeding makes good business sense for all of New Hampshire. When our businesses support their employees in continuing to breastfeed, everyone wins. Businesses are rewarded with less absenteeism, increased employee loyalty and lower health care costs. Mothers and babies experience the health benefits of breastfeeding, businesses recruit and retain employees and it all translates to positive benefits for companies giving the business a positive family friendly image in the community and State.
Transforming your business into a breastfeeding friendly workplace can be simple. The New Hampshire Breastfeeding Task Force looks forward to recognizing you and your efforts to support New Hampshire families.
Eligibility and Breastfeeding Friendly Employer Award Criteria
Although certain accommodations for nursing mothers are required per the Federal Break Time for Nursing Mothers Law, the Task Force is seeking employers who are establishing and maintaining comprehensive, high-quality lactation support for their employees.
In addition to basic requirements of the Federal Break Time for Nursing Mothers, the following are required:
- A written breastfeeding policy that is communicated and provided to all employees
- A private and secure room with a lockable door (not a bathroom)
- A comfortable chair
- Flexible (paid or unpaid) breaks of at least 15-20 minutes every 2-3 hours
The Task Force also recognizes any or all additional breastfeeding support elements offered within the business:
- Educational breastfeeding materials for all expectant parents
- Refrigerator nearby for milk storage
- Nearby sink
- Electrical outlet
- Small table or shelf
- Radio/CD player
- Breastfeeding artwork
- Ability to work part-time or flexible schedule
- Flex time offered
- On-site child care
- List of regional breastfeeding supports provided and maintained
- Lactation consultant services provided by employer's insurance or paid for by employer
- Lending library with breastfeeding resources
How to Apply
Applications are accepted and granted anytime throughout the year. Awards will be publicly announced at the annual New Hampshire Breastfeeding Task Force conference in June of every year and also publicized through local and state press releases and on the Task Force website.
Please complete the self-assessment application online or send a copy to:
New Hampshire Breastfeeding Task Force
P.O. Box 3914
Concord, NH 03302-3914
Email option: send to firstname.lastname@example.org
Awards will be made at the annual Task Force conference and publicized through local and state press releases and on the Task Force website.
Previous Award Recipients
Elliot Hospital, Manchester
Monadnock Community Hospital, Peterboro
Wentworth Douglas Hospital, Dover
Plymouth State College
2015 NH Workplace Award, Presented by Joyce Kelly RN, MPH
Concord Hospital, Concord
The Cheshire County, Keene
WS Badger, Gilsum
Goodwin Community Health, Somersworth
Hannaford Supermarket and Pharmacy, Plymouth
Southwestern Community Services, Keene
The recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are clear and backed by extensive research
The AAP recommends exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months, with continuation of breastfeeding for 1 year or longer as mutually desired by mother and infant, a recommendation concurred to by the WHO (World Health Organization) and the Institute of Medicine. Support for this recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding is found in the differences in health outcomes of infants breastfed exclusively for 4 vs 6 months, for gastrointestinal disease, otitis media, respiratory illnesses, and atopic disease, as well as differences in maternal outcomes of delayed menses and postpartum weight loss.
The common cold in an infant causes parents to take sick leave
The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated: "The risk of hospitalization for lower respiratory tract infections in the first year is reduced 72% if infants breastfed exclusively for more than 4 months. Serious colds and ear and throat infections were reduced by 63% in infants who exclusively breastfed for 6 months."
According to the AAP, the longer the infant exclusively breastfeeds (no use of formula supplements) the better!
"Infants who exclusively breastfed for 4 to 6 months had a fourfold decrease in the risk of pneumonia compared with infants who exclusively breastfed for more than 6 months". (The longer an infant is fed only breastmilk, the greater the benefits.)
Hospitalization of infants takes parents away from work and adds to healthcare costs
"The severity (duration of hospitalization and oxygen requirements) of respiratory syncytial Virus (RSV) bronchiolitis is reduced by 74%
in infants who breastfed exclusively for 4 months compared with infants who never or only partially breastfed." American Academy of Pediatrics 2011
Ear Infections are not a normal part of infancy
"Any breastfeeding compared with exclusive commercial infant formula feeding will reduce the incidence of otitis media (OM) by 23%. Exclusive breastfeeding for more than 3 months reduces the risk of otitis media by 50%."
American Academy of Pediatrics 2011