The Missouri “Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite Program” is a collaboration between the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the Missouri Breastfeeding Coalition to educate employers on the value of providing lactation support in the workplace and to recognize businesses that support their breastfeeding employees.
Employer support of breastfeeding provides many benefits to businesses:
- Cost savings of $3 per $1 invested in nursing support
- Reduced absenteeism to care for sick children because breastfed infants have less illness
- Lower health care costs
- Improved employee productivity with higher morale and greater employee loyalty
- Increased ability to attract and retain valuable employees
- Family-friendly image in the community
Women who return to work while continuing to breastfeed need the support of their employers. Their needs are simple: a safe, private and comfortable location at the worksite and the opportunity to pump two or three times during the work day. The Missouri “Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite Program” is available to help businesses in becoming a nursing friendly workplace by:
- Identifying and setting up a suitable private room
- Scheduling appropriate breaks for nursing employees
- Reviewing written polices
The “Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite Award” evaluates employers on criteria for three levels of support: Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Businesses that meet one of the three levels will be recognized in their community and statewide. To view the criteria or to apply for the award complete the application and submit it to the email address on the form.
“Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite Program” posters (office, retail, restaurant and factory), brochure and door knob hanger are available to order at no cost through the DHSS warehouse. To order complete the request for literature form and fax to 573-751-1574.
Effective March 23, 2010 the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act amended Section 7 of the Labor Standards Act to require employers to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child. Employers are also required to provide a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.
The Wage and Hour Fact Sheet #73 “Break Time for Nursing Mothers under the FLSA” and the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Department of Labor website provide basic information about the law.
Other ResourcesColorado Breastfeeding Coalition YouTube video - Employer perspective on accommodating breastfeeding.