Dayton Children's Hospital wins state award for supporting breastfeeding in the workplace
efforts recognized by the Ohio Department of Health
Dayton Children’s was just awarded gold by the Ohio Department of Health with the Healthy Ohio Breastfeeding Friendly Business Award. Dayton Children’s is one of only 23 employers in Ohio recognized for its implementation of breastfeeding friendly policies and practices in the worksite and one of 13 to receive the award for accommodations for breastfeeding clients or customers. In addition, the hospital is one of only seven businesses that achieved gold status.
Dayton Children’s supports breastfeeding families in many ways, including using a resource team to provide information, referrals to appropriate professionals and connections to resources that help families achieve their breastfeeding goals. The hospital also offers outpatient lactation consultations, hospital-grade breast pump rental and free meals for breastfeeding moms. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is committed to providing low birth weight babies 100 percent human milk, by encouraging every NICU mother to provide her own milk for her baby or, if necessary, the use of donor milk through a partnership with the Mother’s Milk Bank of Ohio.
Dayton Children’s also supports employees by providing breastfeeding information to all employees expecting a baby, as well as access to lactation consultant services after the baby is born. The hospital’s medical insurance covers the cost of a personal electric breast pump and the hospital provides a lactation room with a hospital-grade electric breast pump with breaks to accommodate pumping.
“Dayton Children’s breastfeeding initiatives give mothers the support, confidence and skills to successfully breastfeed their babies," says Mari Jo Rosenbauer, MS, RNC, CPNP, IBCLC, nurse practitioner in Dayton Children’s NICU and lactation consultant. "We encourage exclusive breastfeeding for six months to reduce the risk for infections especially in the first year of life and for optimal nutrition for the baby. We are excited about the opportunity to retain and encourage valuable employees through our breastfeeding program while promoting healthy families.”
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, supporting breastfeeding at the workplace can reduce absenteeism rates on the part of new mothers and increases their productivity.
Keng-I Lin, MS, RD, LD, CLC, clinical dietitian at Dayton Children’s, was recently featured in a hospital blog about her experiences as a new breastfeeding mother. She has been a lactation counselor for many years but found when it was time to breastfeed herself that it wasn’t as easy as she thought. “Breastfeeding is the most natural thing to do as a mammal, but our modern world can add challenges,” she says. “Support at home and at work are critical to making it work. I am thankful I have such a supportive work environment to help me on this journey.”
About Healthy Ohio Breastfeeding Friendly Awards
Ohio is committed to promoting and protecting a mother’s right to breastfeed her child for as long as she chooses, whether or not she returns to work. Doctors recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months after birth for the optimal health of a mother and her child. Children who are breastfed have reduced risk of many health problems such as diabetes, asthma, childhood cancer and obesity.
The ODH and other breastfeeding advocates around the state developed the Healthy Ohio Breastfeeding Friendly Employer Award to acknowledge employers who establish and maintain comprehensive, high-quality breastfeeding support programs for their employees.
The ODH’s Healthy Ohio Breastfeeding Friendly Business award recognizes businesses that also provide accommodations for their breastfeeding customers or clients.
The Healthy Ohio Breastfeeding Friendly Employer Award and Healthy Ohio Breastfeeding Friendly Business Awards are awarded annually. The 2015 applications will be available online in the summer of 2015. For more information about the award and other ways the ODH supports healthy behavior, please visit www.healthy.ohio.gov.
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