The Rockland County Department of Health in New York has recognised disability services organisation Jawonio as a breastfeeding-friendly workplace as part of its Breastfeeding Promotion and Support Programme.
Jawonio, which has 1,100 employees across the Rockland and Lower Westchester county, is the first employer locally to receive the Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite Recognition award for implementing best practice around breastfeeding, as set out in the programme.
The Breastfeeding Promotion and Support Programme requires employers to create a written breastfeeding-friendly office policy and implement environmental changes, such as designated lactation spaces and training staff. The programme further encourages employers to support working mothers while they continue to breastfeed and return to work.
Organisations that achieve these measures are then recognised with the Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite Recognition award. The employers are presented with a plaque and certificate in acknowledgement, and their business is listed on the Rockland County Department of Health’s website.
Jawonio received its recognition award on 14 June 2018.
Jill Warner, chief executive officer at Jawonio, said: “We are proud to be a part of a county that strives to meet the needs of its citizens. This Rockland County Breastfeeding Friendly Designation is a wonderful way to share the pride at Jawonio and how much we value the backbone of our organisation, our staff. Our mums are so grateful and happy, and happy mums are positive and productive staff members, and happy and healthy babies are the result of this collaboration.”
Dr Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, Rockland County commissioner of health, added: “One of the most commonly cited barriers to continuing breastfeeding is returning to work. This is due to the lack of flexibility for pumping milk during the work day, lack of accommodations to pump or store breast milk and concerns about support from employers and colleagues. It truly takes a village to support breastfeeding and we encourage employers to work with us to make their worksites breastfeeding-friendly environments.”