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US Surgeon General's Call to Action Supporting Breastfeeding in the Workplace

The US Surgeon General Dr. Regina M. Benjamin released a Call to Action to explain how all sectors of the community can create an environment to support mothers who choose to breastfeed. According to Dr. Benjamin, "The time has come to set forth the important roles and responsibilities of clinicians, employers, communities, researchers, and government leaders and to urge us all to take on a commitment to enable mothers to meet their personal goals for breastfeeding." The report provides details on how people and organizations can contribute to the health of mothers and their children.

Dr. Benjamin is committed to promoting and supporting optimal breastfeeding practices with the ultimate goal of improving the public's health. Dr. Benjamin also cited revisions to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which support breastfeeding in the workplace. Section 4207 of the Affordable Care Act took effect in March 2010. The new section states that employers with more than 50 employees must provide breastfeeding employees with reasonable break time and a private, non-bathroom place to express breast milk during the workday, up until the child’s first birthday.

Many government agencies and businesses in Washington have already established breastfeeding policies, including the Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, Blue Bird, Inc. in Peshastin and the City of Tacoma.

Partners

The Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington has numerous resources to support worksite breastfeeding including a working packet.

Target Audience

Employers

Region

Nationwide

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