Seeking Nominations for the 7th Annual
Regional Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Awards
and 3rd Annual Healthcare Professional Awards
Businesses committed to supporting women in the workplace are encouraged to nominate themselves for a Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Award. Since 2010, 65 businesses have received this honor, which is jointly sponsored by the Maryland Breastfeeding Coalition (MBC, www.mdbfc.org) and the DC Breastfeeding Coalition (DCBFC, www.dcbfc.org).
Healthcare Provider offices (OB, Pediatric, Family Practice or any other) that promote and support breastfeeding are also encouraged to nominate themselves for the 3rd annual Healthcare Professionals Awards. Awards are presented to offices that support breastfeeding through a conducive office environment and education of fellow healthcare professionals, office staff and families.
Studies have shown that work-site support of employees enrolled in a company-provided lactation support program is a Win-Win situation. Employers benefit through increased rates of retention, employee satisfaction and morale. The health benefits of breastfeeding for mother and baby equate to decreased health care and insurance costs, and a reduction in sick leave requests to care for an ill child.
The requirement to provide a clean, private space and flexible, reasonable unpaid breaks for women to express their milk during work hours without discrimination is clearly stated in Section 4207 of the 2010 Affordable Care Act (“Reasonable Break Time for Nursing Mothers”) and the District of Columbia’s Human Rights Act (“The Child’s Right to Nurse Human Rights Amendment Act of 2007″). Despite these regulations, support for nursing mothers in the workplace is not universal. The Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Awards seek to highlight and applaud those businesses who are doing the right thing.
Loyal employed mothers who want to continue breastfeeding have just a few needs which can help them continue their dedicated service to their employer while meeting the needs of their child. Previous winners have demonstrated how this can range from a small room to a large program replete with lactation consultants and support groups. The key 3 factors displayed by all awardees have been Time, Space, and Support for their employees.
DCBFC and MBC are nonprofit organizations, which unite breastfeeding advocates, healthcare providers, and families to provide a forum for the development and exchange of resources to foster the establishment of breastfeeding as the normal way to nurture infants. The World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics, along with numerous other health organizations, strongly recommend that an infant receive only human milk for the first 6 months, and continue receiving breast milk once complimentary foods are started for a minimum of 12 months of life.
Nominations for Breastfeeding-Friendly Businesses and Healthcare Provider Offices are now being sought. Nominations for Breastfeeding-Friendly Businesses can be made at http://mdbfc.org/WorkplaceAwardNominationForm_2016.php. Nominations for Healthcare Provider Offices can be made at http://mdbfc.org/PhysiciansOfficeForm_2016.php until September 30, 2016.
- Employees may nominate their employers but must have consent from the business to have a site visit conducted to confirm the nomination.
- Businesses previously awarded at the Bronze or Silver level are eligible for nomination if seeking a higher level of recognition.
- Applications will be reviewed by Coalition Workplace Committee members and assigned points according to specific criteria.
- Workplace site visits will occur by November 18, 2016. Bronze, Silver, and Gold winners will be publicly announced on the MBC and DCBFC websites and other social media sites.