Grace Health recently earned a Michigan Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Silver Award presented by Michigan Breastfeeding Network, which recognizes employers that support breastfeeding employees upon their return to work. With this recognition, Grace Health joins a growing number of businesses working together with their local breastfeeding coalitions to make Michigan breastfeeding-friendly for families in the communities in which they live, work, and play.
“Grace Health very pleased to be recognized as a Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace for supporting our employees who choose to continue breastfeeding after returning to work. We understand the benefits babies receive from breast milk as well at the benefits breastfeeding moms receive. Therefore, we provide a private space for employees to use where they may easily and comfortably pump while at work,” said Dr. Peter Chang, Grace Health President/CEO.
Mothers are the fastest growing segment in the U.S. labor force and investing in breastfeeding employee support programs makes good business sense. Employers who support breastfeeding employees enjoy a 3-to-1 return on investment through greater employee retention, increased productivity, lower healthcare costs, and fewer sick days. Businesses with workplace breastfeeding support also attract valued employees who report increased job satisfaction, morale, and company loyalty.
As a Michigan Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace, Grace Health recognizes breastfeeding as the optimal method for feeding infants and children and is in compliance with the federal breastfeeding accommodation law. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding until at least two years of age, the American Academy of Family Physicians for at least 12 months, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life with continuation of breastfeeding for up to 1 year or longer as mutually desired by mother and child. Breastfeeding provides valuable disease protection against gastrointestinal illness, pneumonia, and upper respiratory infections especially during the first year of life with continued benefits well into childhood. In addition, breastfeeding reduces a mother’s risk of breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers as well as lowering the lifetime risk of osteoporosis and type II diabetes.
The Michigan Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Awards are a component of the MIBFN “MI Breastfeeding-Friendly Business Project,” a worksite lactation support initiative funded by the Cardiovascular Health, Nutrition and Physical Activity Section at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
For more information on this program and how to apply to be a Michigan Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace visit: http://mibreastfeeding.org/workplace-awards.
About Michigan Breastfeeding Network
The mission of the Michigan Breastfeeding Network (MIBFN) is to lead the statewide collaborative actions for advocacy, education, and coalition building in order to create a supportive breastfeeding culture. To learn more, visit www.mibreastfeeding.org.