Breastfeeding Employer Award Recipients
The Pennsylvania Breastfeeding Coalition wants to recognize breastfeeding-friendly employers that support their employees by providing and maintaining high-quality lactation support programs and appropriate on-site environments. Apply here.
The PABC Worksite Breastfeeding Award was created as part of a grant-funded project begun in 2009 for the Business Case for Breastfeeding. Four regions were represented in the project coordinated by PABC (Jeanne Spencer), Maternity Care Coalition (Esther Chung), Nursing Mothers Counselors (Kathie Wagner), Breastfeeding Center of Pittsburgh (Judy Gutowski), and Luzerne County Breastfeeding Coalition (Jill Martin). The Business Case Train the Trainer program was in Philadelphia for 52 people, two other trainings were held for PA-MILC with 12 attendees and Western PA Lactation Consultant Association for 37 others.
EMPLOYER AWARD RECIPIENTS
Hampden Medical Center- Penn State Health
The Pennsylvania Breastfeeding Coalition recently recognized Hampden Medical Center for establishing its Lactation Support Program.
Hampden Medical Center’s program supports breastfeeding/chest-feeding and an environment of wellness for staff and students as they transition back to work or studies after giving birth. The new facility hosts five mother’s lounges that provide breastfeeding people, including visitors, with a private space to express milk.
In addition, the Human Resources Department promotes the Lactation Support Policy during new employee orientation and provides flexibility for work arrangements and direct breastfeeding when possible.
“Returning to work after maternity leave can be difficult,” said Jessica Harter, a nurse in Inpatient Women’s Health. “I am grateful to work in a hospital that offers resources to help me continue providing the best nutrition to my baby.”
When onboarding new employees, leaders use the Lactation Support Accommodation Request Form to encourage early conversations with supervisors about space to pump, break time and milk storage. This process alleviates employees’ concerns so they can plan ahead and choose human milk feeding prior to the birth of their child.
“We were intentional in extending lactation support services beyond our Women and Babies Center to employees and visitors,” said Kathryn Lally, lactation program manager for Hampden Medical Center. “Our goal is to create a culture that promotes family and well-being and gives people the resources for important work-life balance.”
The Pennsylvania Breastfeeding Coalition works to protect, promote and support breastfeeding as the cultural norm for infant feeding in Pennsylvania.
Carnegie Mellon University Receives
Breastfeeding Friendly Employer Award
The Pennsylvania Breastfeeding Coalition (PABC) proudly recognizes Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) for establishing an exceptional Lactation Support Program. After review of its policy and employee resources, the PABC Award Committee presented a Breastfeeding Friendly Employer certificate to CMU on October 28, 2020. CMU is a leader in Pennsylvania, joining a growing number of businesses, schools and universities providing employee lactation support.
At the award presentation, held during a PABC virtual meeting, Co-Chairs of CMU’s Family Care Advisory Committee, Michelle Piekutowski (Associate VP and CHRO) and Mary Jo Dively (VP and General Counsel) discussed the family friendly philosophy at CMU and the development of the program to support breastfeeding families. The lactation program was supported by university leadership including President Farnam Jahanian and Provost James Garrett, who have been instrumental in promoting family friendly campus initiatives. Additional CMU partners in this project and honorees included: Shabaki Lambert, Assistant VP of HR, Strategic Initiatives; Jack Kennedy, Assistant VP, Benefits and Compensation; and La Dawn Robinson, Manager, Equal Opportunity Services.
The Office of Human Resources not only manages the Lactation Support Policy, but also coordinates the use of the 11 dedicated lactation rooms available at CMU. The university website provides an interactive map to conveniently locate rooms and an electronic request form to access the lactation spaces.
Employees and students choosing to breastfeed can more easily transition back to work or studies at CMU after the birth of a child. The provisions of flexible time and private space for milk expression allow breastfeeding students, faculty, staff and guests to successfully merge their priorities of family, work and education in a supportive setting. Employees are encouraged to communicate with supervisors before delivery to develop mutually agreeable arrangements.
Research proves that human milk is the optimal first food for children because of its immediate and lifelong health advantages. Breastfeeding also benefits the health of mothers by improving pregnancy recovery and by lowering rates of breast and ovarian cancers, cardiac disease and type 2 diabetes. This Lactation Support Program reduces barriers for families choosing to breastfeed and supports the health of breastfeeding individuals and the health of future generations.
CMU’s investment in employees as partners not only provides lactation support, but also includes a Care@Work program for additional resources, such as child care, elder care, pet care and household help.
Businesses, schools and organizations can review the award criteria and submit applications for a Pennsylvania Breastfeeding Coalition Breastfeeding Friendly Employer Award at pabreastfeeding.org.
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania Receives PABC Employee Lactation Award
The Pennsylvania Breastfeeding Coalition (PABC) proudly recognized The University of Pennsylvania (Penn) for establishing and maintaining an exceptional lactation support program. After a thorough review of their policy and employee resources, Alison Keating and Lisa McCloskey, PABC Award Committee Co-Chairs and Leslie Cree, PABC Chair, awarded a Breastfeeding-Friendly Employer Certificate to Penn late last year. Penn is a leader in Pennsylvania, joining a growing number of businesses, schools, and universities providing comprehensive employee lactation support.
At the award presentation, held virtually on November 13, 2020 during the Lactation Resource Group meeting, Jennifer Brady, manager of Employee Health and Wellness, highlighted the 60 lactation spaces offered throughout the Penn campus and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, and announced that thirty additional spaces were part of the construction of a new hospital tower. Dr. Diane Spatz, professor with the School of Nursing, spoke about the origins of the program, remembering that the Nursing Education Building, now the Claire M Fagin School of Nursing was the first building on campus to create a lactation space on campus. Dr. Spatz finished her PhD at Penn Nursing in 1995 and had her first National Institutes of Health research study funded on human milk and breastfeeding so it was important that breastfeeding be prioritized in the School of Nursing. This led to the creation of a whole semester course on human lactation and the establishment of the first lactation space on campus which included a Medela Lactina pump (state of the art at the time).
The program has grown to include a comprehensive, inclusive language policy supportive of lactation for all members of the Penn Community (faculty, staff, students, and visitors), an interactive map of spaces and facilities throughout Penn’s campus, twice per year lactation discussion groups hosted by Dr. Spatz, and virtually all lactation rooms being equipped with state of the art computer chip multi-user hospital grade Symphony breast pumps. The Penn Women’s Center provides pump kits at no charge to the Penn Community.
The Human Resources Department implements this policy, manages the lactation rooms and promotes the flexible use of space, reducing barriers to breastfeeding success. Employees are encouraged to reach out to Karen Kille, Senior Work life Consultant, in order to identify a lactation space, or help arrange a space in their area.
Employees and students choosing to breastfeed can more easily transition back to work or studies at Penn after the birth of a child. The provisions of flexible time and private space for milk expression, allows breastfeeding students, faculty, staff, and guests to merge their priorities of family, work, and education in a supportive setting.
Businesses, schools, and organizations can review the award criteria and submit applications for a Pennsylvania Breastfeeding Coalition Breastfeeding Friendly Employer Award at pabreastfeeding.org.