Wise Health System celebrated its designation as a “Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite” by the Texas Department of State Health Services for its commitment to provide support to breastfeeding employees. Employees may not realize that their employer already provides a private location and break time for breastfeeding staff to pump breastmilk as well as a place for safe and hygienic storage of milk. Wise Health System is one of an increasing number of businesses that recognizes the value of supporting the parents of infants by providing this type of support at the workplace.
Statistics show that breastmilk gives infants all the nutrients they need for healthy development and helps protect them from common childhood illnesses. It also helps protect the health of mothers by reducing the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic conditions. Working mothers often cite the lack of support at the worksite as a common reason for not breastfeeding their infants, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and other health officials. By supporting its breastfeeding employees, Wise Health System is helping new mothers realize they don’t have to choose between returning to work and meeting their breastfeeding goals—they can do both.
The Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite designation is an optional program. While federal law does require that employers provide reasonable accommodations to breastfeeding employees, Wise Health System leaders decided to go one step further and obtain the designation.
“The mothers of infants shouldn’t have to choose between breastfeeding their babies and returning to work,” said Cheryl Fortenberry, Director of Women’s & Children’s Services. “We want to make it easy for our employees to do both. With this designation, we are doing our part to support our employees—and their families—so that they can lead healthy, productive lives. It’s an investment in our company’s future as well as an investment in our employees and their families.”
More information on the Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite designation may be found at TexasMotherFriendly.org. The site also features tools and information as well as tips for breastfeeding that working parents can use to manage a mother’s transition back to work.