Research shows that breastfeeding provides many health benefits for mother and baby. However, it doesn’t always come easy for everyone. Learning all you can before you give birth can help. The decision to breastfeed is a personal one. As a new mom, you deserve support no matter how you decide to feed your baby.
An Infant Friendly Workplace is a business designation for employers who support breastfeeding by providing a dedicated space and adequate time for new mothers to pump milk during the workday. By supporting breastfeeding in the workplace, employers can show support for a mother’s decision to breastfeed, which helps to keep babies, children and mothers healthy in the community. In addition to benefitting babies and mothers, Infant Friendly Workplaces also have significant benefits for employers.
What does infant friendly mean?
In 2009, legislation established an “Infant Friendly” designation to highlight and recognize workplaces who went above and beyond to support breastfeeding employees.
Applying to be an Infant Friendly Workplace in the state of North Dakota is easy. Once the business becomes an Infant Friendly Workplace, a packet will be sent from the State of North Dakota filled with more information.
Reduced Sick Leave. Breastfed infants have lower risk for common illnesses such as colds and ear infections, reducing sick leave for new mothers.
Lower Healthcare Insurance Costs. Healthier infants require fewer medical appointments and prescriptions, leading to lower employer costs.
Higher Employee Productivity. A supportive environment for breastfeeding mothers has been shown to increase both morale and productivity.
Retention of Experienced Employees. Studies show that businesses with breastfeeding support programs have higher retention rates for new mothers.
A small, private space can be set up for a lactation room. A mother needs to express milk approximately every three hours to maintain a healthy milk supply. Milk can be refrigerated or stored in a personal cooler or small refrigerator.
Craft Your Policy
Supporting breastfeeding through policy is an important part of being Infant Friendly. Policies should include guidelines for breaks, space, a water source and what is provided for breast milk storage. This also includes some effort to inform and educate employees and managers about the policy.
Apply for Infant Friendly Designation
Once the business space and policy is ready, apply online to become an Infant Friendly Workplace. The application requires simple contact information and responses for less than 10 questions. Upon designation, the business will receive a packet of materials to promote your business as Infant Friendly as well as be listed online as an Infant Friendly Workplace.
- Apex Physical Therapy & Wellness Center
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of ND
- Central Valley Health District
- Jamestown Regional Medical Center
- South Central Human Service Center