To commemorate World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7, the Allegheny County Health Department has recognized GSPH as a winner in its 16th annual Breastfeeding Friendly Place Awards, which recognize workplaces, public places, and other sites away from home that make an extra effort to accommodate breastfeeding mothers.
The longer a baby is breastfed the greater the health benefits, yet while 69% of new moms breastfeed at birth only 37.5% are still nursing six months later, due in part to a lack of support in the workplace and other areas outside the home. Even though state law expressly allows women to breastfeed in public, one of the keys to extending breastfeeding times is making places outside the home more breastfeeding friendly, including workplaces that go beyond what’s minimally required for an employee to express breast milk under the U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act. Breastfeeding friendly workplaces are also good for business, because breastfed babies are less likely to get sick throughout childhood and that means lower absentee rates for working moms and dads due to a child’s illness.
Honored in the workplace category for creating a supportive environment, GSPH provides a private, clean, comfortable office with a desk and chair and two other soft chairs and table, a large window with beautiful plants and blinds for added privacy, refrigerator for milk storage, tea pot with variety of teas available, and a blackboard and journal for writing notes and comments.
Instituted as the Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace Awards in 1996, the awards were later expanded to include all places offering a supportive attitude and environment that make it easier to breastfeed away from home.