New lactation room supports breastfeeding moms, helps babies get a healthy start
In Mora, a new private space provides a safe, clean and comfortable place for breastfeeding moms to express breast milk at work.
With support and funding from the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) and Partners in Healthy Living, Kanabec County Public Health Service Building in Mora now has a place that provides a room for moms who are breastfeeding.
Partners in Healthy Living is the SHIP grantee representing Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs and Pine counties.
Research indicates that breastfed babies are at lower risk for many health problems such as ear and respiratory infections, diarrhea, asthma and obesity.
“SHIP funding was used to purchase signage, furnishings, carpeting and more for the room,” said Barbara McFadden, Kanabec County’s attorney who also chairs the Kanabec County Wellness Committee. “Kanabec County’s Women, Infants and Children program also uses the room for lactation training and offers materials to the general public.”
The room opened in October 2015.
As part of the county’s employee wellness strategies the wellness committee wanted to support and encourage women who are breastfeeding.
“We also have several employees who devote countless hours in the community promoting breastfeeding and it seemed contradictory to not have a room for breastfeeding training at any of our public buildings,” she said.
Babies, moms and employers all benefit
The effort in Kanabec County supports SHIP’s efforts to encourage workplace wellness strategies that support new mothers who want to continue breastfeeding by providing breastfeeding space, training and support.
Research indicates that breastfed babies are at lower risk for many health problems such as ear and respiratory infections, diarrhea, asthma and obesity, and mothers who breastfeed are less likely to develop diabetes or breast or ovarian cancer.
Worksite lactation rooms can also benefit employers, who can see a return on their investment through lower health care costs, lower absenteeism among new mothers whose babies are healthier, higher employee retention, loyalty and higher employee productivity.