On Monday, Providence Holy Cross Medical Center was one of five hospitals honored in Sacramento as a California Baby-Friendly Hospital for not only advocating breastfeeding for maternity patients bur also meeting the needs of employees who are breastfeeding.
The California Taskforce on Youth and Workplace Wellness presented five Mother-Baby Friendly Workplace Awards to baby-friendly designated hospitals across the state. Baby Friendly hospitals promote breastfeeding for new mothers.
Hospitals qualified for the Mother-Baby Friendly Workplace Award because they provide a clean private space and time for employees to pump breast milk or breastfeed at work, have written policies, and inform their employees about the accommodations.
Don’t miss a thing. Get breaking news alerts delivered right to your inbox.
“We are very strong advocates of breastfeeding for the health of both our new mothers and our babies.” said Betty Newsom, chief nursing officer at Providence Holy Cross in Mission Hills. “That advocacy, of course, extends to our most important resource, our employees. This is essential to a healthy work-life balance.”
Assemblyman Kevin De Leon has drafted legislation urging more employers to have written policies providing accommodations for breastfeeding in the workplace.
“It makes sense to award these hospitals who are not only going the extra mile for their patients by pursuing a baby-friendly designation, but also are supporting their employees with a written policy about lactation accommodation as well as a location to express or feed breast milk,” De Leon said. “The workplace breastfeeding policies ensure that women are supported to continue breastfeeding when returning to work.”
Following the award ceremony, Dr. Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health, led a group of breastfeeding moms and their children in a walk to recognize breastfeeding as the first step to a healthy life and to raise awareness that more California hospitals need to pursue the Baby-Friendly designation.
“Breast milk is a gold standard for infant feeding,” said Horton, a pediatrician. “It’s the best food for infants, it protects then from childhood infections, and it conveys significant health benefits to the breastfeeding mom, lowering her risk for developing a number of serious chronic diseases.”
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has proclaimed August as “Breastfeeding Awareness Month” and calls on employers to implement breastfeeding education in the workplace and ensure a comfortable atmosphere for breastfeeding moms.