For Immediate Release
Contact: Sahira Long, MD
President, DC Breastfeeding Coalition

August 1, 2010

New Award to Honor Local Businesses who Support Breastfeeding Employees

Regional Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Awards launched for the District, Maryland and Northern Virginia

Breastfeeding is one of the greatest gifts a mother can give to her child. Breastmilk does not cost a thing, is environmentally friendly and is rich in nutrients and antibodies that are vital for growing infants and their immune systems. This miracle food has even been shown to reduce the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and has been shown to confer health benefits for a lifetime.

The World Health Organization strongly recommends that infants are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life and that they continue to receive breastmilk for a minimum of 12 months. This is often inhibited by a mother's return to work. Many breastfeeding moms abandon breastfeeding when they return to work because they lack the support and facilities to breastfeed and/or pump milk at work.

Research shows that providing lactation support can help companies save money in health care and employee expenses, reduce turnover rates, lower absenteeism and increase employee loyalty. Employers that have established workplace lactation programs have found that these programs improve the companies' return on investment as well as make for a more productive working environment.

The DC and Maryland Breastfeeding Coalitions are eager to recognize local companies that offer breastfeeding support and education, and the time and space for new mothers to breastfeed and/or pump breastmilk in the workplace. Businesses that accommodate breastfeeding moms and provide a supportive work environment can be considered for a Regional Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Award.

Employers and employees are invited to nominate breastfeeding-friendly workplaces through the DC Breastfeeding Coalition website at Nominations are being accepted between now and November 1, 2010. Worksite visits will be conducted in September and October. Companies will be judged in three categories by the number of employees (under 50, 51-500, over 500). Bronze, Silver, and Gold Honors will be announced in November.

Breastfeeding rates in the region are lower than the national average. Rates among African American women are among the lowest in the country. The DC Breastfeeding Coalitions and the Maryland Breastfeeding Committee are working in partnership to bring health care providers, breastfeeding advocates and families together to develop and exchange resources to promote breastfeeding as the norm for nurturing infants. The Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Award is a new initiative of these two groups.

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.
Last Updated: June 2018