Maryland/DC Regional Breastfeeding-Friendly
Workplace Awards

Since 2010 after completing a Business Case for Breastfeeding training, the DC and Maryland Breastfeeding Coalitions have sponsored an annual Breastfeeding- Friendly Workplace Awardsprogram. This program recognizes demonstrated support for breastfeeding through a conducive office environment.

Studies show that worksite 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. Mothers and babies also benefit from decreased health care and insurance costs, and a reduction in sick leave requests to care for an ill child.

Because of these demonstrated benefits, both the Affordable Care Act and "Child's Right to Nurse Human Rights Amendment Act of 2007" (Bill B17- 0133) require businesses to provide a clean, private space, and flexible, reasonable unpaid breaks for women to express their milk during work hours without discrimination. Despite these requirements, many businesses still do not provide the necessary support for breastfeeding mothers.

The DC Breastfeeding Coalition encourages businesses who support breastfeeding mothers in their workplace to apply for Award recognition. Businesses are judged based on their size and the accommodations they provide to breastfeeding employees. This includes breastfeeding support and education, as well as the time and space for mothers to breastfeed and/or pump breast milk in the workplace. Based on the number of amenities and processes to support breastfeeding, businesses will receive the award at a gold, silver, or bronze level.

In 2014, recognizing the importance of healthcare providers in helping families to achieve their breastfeeding goals, the Coalitions expanded their breastfeeding- friendly awards program to include an annual Healthcare Provider Award. This tiered award recognizes medical offices that provide support and education for breastfeeding families in addition to staff and provider education and training related to breastfeeding.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought to light the crucial role that childcare providers play as essential workers. This is true for all families with children who rely on their services, and especially so for breastfeeding families. It is critical that breastfeeding families who must return to work be provided a breastfeeding- supportive childcare environment. Therefore, in 2021 the Coalitions launched a Childcare Provider Award to recognize those facilities that do so.

P.O. Box 29214, Washington, DC 20017 • Tel 202-470-2732 • email

Medical Disclaimer: The information presented here is not intended to diagnose health problems, breastfeeding problems, or to take the place of professional medical care. If you have persistent breastfeeding problems, or if you have further questions, please consult your health care provider. The DC Breastfeeding Coalition does not share partnership with, or have any vested interest in, any of the businesses that may appear on this site, or sites that may be accessible by links herein contained.