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Supporting breastfeeding is good for business, as well as for babies

Release Date: October 13, 2009
Contact: Carol Schriber, 919-733-9190

RALEIGH – Supporting breastfeeding is good business. And it just got easier with a new guide book for employers, and some federal and local funding for outreach and education.

In recognition of National Businesswomen’s Week, Oct. 19-23, the N.C. Division of Public Health and the N.C. Breastfeeding Coalition have released the new publication, Eat Smart North Carolina: Businesses Leading the Way in Support of Breastfeeding.  It isa planning and resource primer for any employer looking for guidance on how to make their worksite or business breastfeeding-friendly. 

“With 40 percent of moms returning to work within three months of giving birth, it is important that workplaces support women in their efforts to continue to breastfeed,” said State Health Director Dr. Jeffrey Engel. “We know that breastfed babies are healthier babies, with reduced risks for illness in infancy and later in life. And the longer infants are breastfed, the greater the benefits.”

The guide can be used in private and non-profit businesses, faith organizations, schools, government agencies and community organizations. It gives employers tips for writing a policy, guidance on flexible scheduling, and information on establishing space for moms to pump or breastfeed at work.

“Whether a business is just starting to think of ways to support breastfeeding mothers or needs ideas for how to expand what they are already doing, this guide walks them through the options and resources to build success,” said Alice Lenihan, nutrition services branch head in the N.C. Division of Public Health.

North Carolina was also one of ten states that received funding this fall to promote worksite breastfeeding. To support their work in helping companies find ways to support breastfeeding families, the N.C. Breastfeeding Coalition was awarded a $10,000 grant by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Every Mother, Inc., and Healthy Child Development International. The coalition plans to use the grant to offer training in November for breastfeeding advocates and lactation consultants on how to approach businesses. Human resources managers and community advocates interested in the training should contact the N.C. Breastfeeding Coalition at 919.630.4460.

North Carolina WIC, the state’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children, earlier developed the state’s breastfeeding action plan, Promoting, Protecting and Supporting Breastfeeding: A North Carolina Blueprint for Action. The promotion of breastfeeding in workplaces supports Eat Smart, Move More North Carolina, a statewide movement that strives to make healthy eating and increased physical activity easier wherever people live, learn, earn play and pray. More information and the publications can be found at,, and


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