Businesses Statewide Can Now Seek Free Recognition as a Lactation Friendly Workplace
For more information contact:
Deanna Geldens, Marketing &
Digital Communications Manager
(o) 720.382.7074, (c) 303.913.5010
The Colorado Breastfeeding Coalition and Advancing Breastfeeding in Colorado (ABC) are excited to announce their collaboration in promoting lactation friendly workplaces throughout the state. With a shared mission to reduce health disparities and enhance overall health across Colorado, this partnership aims to establish a seamless system of lactation support for parents and families in various settings.
Lactation Friendly Workplaces have been shown to have healthier workforces, improved morale, and bring a remarkable 3 to 1 return on investment through reduced health care costs, decreased absenteeism, lower turnover rates, and increased employee productivity. Becoming a Lactation Friendly Workplace not only showcases a commitment to supporting families but also helps parents achieve their breastfeeding goals while cultivating a positive, family-friendly image for businesses in the community.
The ABC project has successfully recognized over 400 employers as Lactation Friendly for their commitments to creating lactation spaces and written policies within their business. The workplace recognition program originated in Boulder County in 2015, expanded to the Denver metro area (including Boulder, Denver, Jefferson, Adams, Arapahoe, and Douglas counties) in 2018, and is now launching as a statewide program overseen by the Colorado Breastfeeding Coalition.
Supported by a grant from the state’s Cancer, Cardiovascular and Chronic Pulmonary Disease Grants Program, the ABC project commenced its work in July 2018 and will conclude in June 2023. One focus of the project is creating conducive environments for lactation support at workplaces, child care programs, medical offices, and within communities, ultimately fostering a culture of health and well-being. The Colorado Breastfeeding Coalition will run the workplace recognition program after the ABC project winds down.
“We are thrilled to collaborate with the Colorado Breastfeeding Coalition in expanding the reach of the Advancing Breastfeeding in Colorado project,” said Mandy Feeks, Public Health Program Coordinator at the Public Health Institute at Denver Health. “The ABC project demonstrated the importance of multi-agency collaboration in addressing health inequities. Through this partnership, employer recognition and support for families in achieving their lactation goals will continue into the future.”
To be recognized, employers are required to have a lactation policy, provide a private, prioritized space for pumping, and allow adequate time for their employees to nurse or express milk — all in alignment with state and federal law.
Hundreds of Colorado businesses have already achieved recognition as Lactation Friendly Workplaces. Now organizations statewide are encouraged to join this initiative. Employers can begin the free process for recognition and assess their needs at https://www.cobfc.org/lactation-friendly-workplace-recognition-for-employers/.
Leaders of participating workplaces shared their experiences:
“[Front Range Community College] is committed to maintaining an inclusive and caring work environment,” said Colleen Simpson, EdD, President. “We want our employees to know that we support them as they go through this special time in their child’s development. I’m grateful to the fantastic team of employees who came together to do this important work.”
“Knowing that almost two-thirds of new parents stop lactation earlier than they want to because of a lack of support was a significant motivating factor in working with this program,” said Garrett Chappell, Senior Sustainability Specialist for Premier Members Credit Union. “We have a responsibility as an employer to support our new parents and connect them to the resources they need to ensure their own health, as well as the health of their newborns. This is a key tenet of the social side of sustainability and core to our success as an organization.”
“As a place of employment, Adams County Government recognizes the documented health advantages of breastfeeding for infants and parents,” said Michelle Harris, Nutrition and Family Health Division Director. “With the recent recognition as a Lactation Friendly Workplace, Adams County is committed to providing a positive work environment for employees through support, education, policy and designated private lactation spaces. By fostering a supportive culture and prioritizing lactation promotion and support, our aim is to empower employees and families, leading to improved health and financial well-being.”