Modified: July 19, 2018 4:26pm
From the Office of the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Gale R. Burstein
Date: July 19, 2018
CONTACT: Mary C. St. Mary/Mary.StMary@Erie.Gov
Phone: 716.858.4941/ Mobile: 716.253.3925
Creating Breastfeeding-Friendly Worksites
Recognizing Local Employers Leading the Way for Moms and Babies
ERIE COUNTY, NY—Many people are familiar with the phrase “breast is best” when it comes to feeding infants. However, fewer people know why that recommendation can truly improve a baby’s health.
“Breastfeeding provides infants a protective effect against respiratory illnesses, ear infections, gastrointestinal diseases, and allergies including asthma, eczema and atopic dermatitis, said Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Commissioner of Health. “In addition, the rate of sudden infant death syndrome (“SIDS”) is reduced by over one third in breastfed babies.
However, nursing women returning to the workforce can encounter numerous barriers to breastfeeding such as a lack of flexibility for milk expression in their work schedule, lack of appropriate accommodations to pump or store breast-milk, and concerns about support and understanding from employer and colleagues.
The Healthy Baby Festival will be on Friday, July 27, 2018 from 11am-1pm at Delaware Park (Ring Road), near the entrance at Colvin and Amherst Streets. This event, sponsored by the Catholic Charities WIC program, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and Buffalo Prenatal-Perinatal Network will provide residents with educational information and access to resources to help babies grow up healthy, focusing on the importance of breastfeeding.
During this event, the following leading Erie County employers will be congratulated and recognized for achieving ECDOH’s designation as a Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite:
- Rich Products Corporation
- Buffalo Bills
- Catholic Health
- United Way of Buffalo & Erie County
- County of Erie
- Canisius College
- Univera Healthcare
- Walsh Duffield Companies, Inc.
- National Weather Service at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport
- Erie 1 BOCES
- SUNY Erie Community College—all campuses
- START WITH SLEEP
- Trocaire College
- Catholic Charities
- Ford Motor Company
- BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York
- National Fuel Gas Company
To achieve this designation, each organization shared their policies and procedures for review, a site visit was made to inspect physical locations and setup of lactation rooms and additional technical assistance was made available. A Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite not only benefits the mother and the baby but benefits employers as well. Studies have shown breastfeeding can result in lower absenteeism, higher morale and productivity, reduced employee turnover and lower health care costs.
“The Buffalo Bills take a tremendous amount of pride in providing a high level of customer service to our fans,” commented Andy Major, Vice President, Operations & Guest Experience. We are humbled to be honored by Erie County Department of Health for this distinction. We hope that these rooms at New Era Field and the Adpro Sports Training Center will provide safety and comfort to our female fans and employees in need of them.”
“As a family-owned company, family is engrained in who we are and what we’re all about, so it’s only natural that we keep our valued new moms top of mind,” said Ed Moore, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Rich Products Corporation. “We’re dedicated to providing our nursing mothers with a clean, safe and comfortable environment while at work and hope our support provides a positive work-life integration experience as they return to the workplace.”
The Global Big Latch On is another breastfeeding support event, taking place on Saturday, August 4, 2018 (9am—2pm), also on the Ring Road at Delaware Park (near the Amherst/Colvin green space). This worldwide breastfeeding support event invites Moms to participate in the latch-on and the public to support and recognize Buffalo's breastfeeding community. The day will include music, food trucks, and activities, plus discount zoo admission is available for all participating families.
For additional information on being recognized as or becoming a Breastfeeding Friendly workplace, contact Kelly Fletcher, Public Health Educator at (716) 858-4752 or Kelly.Fletcher@erie.gov.
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