USBC Applauds Breastfeeding Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - May 6, 2005

Washington, DCThe United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC), a national organization of more than 40 national health care, professional, and government organizations, has endorsed the Breastfeeding Promotion Act, Bill HR2790, refiled by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-New York) today. The bill is designed to protect women under the civil rights law from being discriminated against for breastfeeding in the workplace.

Dr. Audrey Naylor, chair of the USBC, says the bill recognizes the importance of supporting breastfeeding employees in their decision to provide milk for their infants, and calls attention to an impressive return on investment when employers provide worksite lactation support.

“Supporting breastfeeding employees is a win for everyone,” says Naylor. “Employers can experience lower health claims, absenteeism rates, and turnover rates, which can save a company thousands of dollars each year. Breastfeeding mothers are more likely to be productive and loyal to the company when they are provided onsite lactation support. And, most importantly, babies who continue breastfeeding after their moms return to work are healthier.”

Naylor says it takes little for a company to provide lactation support. Basic needs include a place to express milk in privacy, and flexible breaks two or three times during the workday. Many women use existing breaks and a portion of their lunch hour to express milk. Naylor adds that a growing number of companies across the United States offer worksite lactation programs that also include prenatal and postpartum support through access to a lactation consultant and educational resources.

The USBC has published two relevant issue papers available to the general public on the website at www.usbreastfeeding.org. “Worksite Breastfeeding Support” and “Economic Benefits of Breastfeeding” provide documented evidence of the importance of breastfeeding and worksite lactation support. The “Checklist for Accommodations in the Workplace” allows employers to assess their current environment and options for supporting employees.

For more information about resources available to support working mothers with breastfeeding, contact the USBC at (202) 367-1132, or at info@usbreastfeeding.org.

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