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Department of Health Provides Breastfeeding Friendly Designation to Businesses and Day Care Providers in Honor of National Breastfeeding Month

Author: Jacquelyn Langdon/Tuesday, August 01, 2017/Categories: Health

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In the United States and Canada, August is National Breastfeeding Month. The Niagara County Department of Health is providing Breastfeeding Friendly Designation to businesses and child care providers that meet the Lactation Program minimum requirements. Returning to work after maternity leave can pose challenges to mothers; and, therefore, the health department is promoting and protecting a mother’s right to breastfeed her child for as long as she chooses. “All breastfeeding mothers need support in their workplaces, as well as their communities, to give babies the best start for nutrition and long term health,” stated Public Health Director Daniel Stapleton. Breastfeeding is a “Public Health Imperative,” he emphasized.

Doctors recommend exclusive breastfeeding for at least six (6) months for the optimal health of a mother and her child. The Niagara County Department of Health is dedicated to improving the community’s health by working collaboratively with employers to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding. The Niagara County Department of Health is a leading example for local employers, as the Lockport and Niagara Falls health department locations each have a dedicated space for employees to express milk.

Women are more likely to continue breastfeeding when their employers and child care providers have supportive policies and practices in place. The Niagara County Department of Health is calling on all employers to “Make Breastfeeding Work.” The Niagara County Department of Health has set minimum requirements for employers and child care providers seeking breastfeeding friendly designation. Those designated will receive a formal framed certificate, lactation room door tags, breastmilk storage guidelines refrigerator magnets and ongoing support from the department Certified Lactation Consultant. “Breastfeeding is essential to family health,” stated Elise Pignatora, Director of Public Health Planning and Emergency Preparedness as well as Certified Lactation Counselor. “Businesses, to include day care providers, are in a pivotal position to significantly increase the health of the community by supporting the needs of lactating employees and clients,” she added.

The list of requirements and application for designation may be found on the Niagara County Department of Health website: http://www.niagaracounty.com/health?Services/LactationandBreastfeeding.aspx.  For more information about the breastfeeding initiative, contact Elise Pignatora MS, CLC at (716) 439-7431.

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