Health officials encourage breast-feeding at the workplace

Health officials encourage breast-feeding at the workplace

Employers: Breast-feeding can help you. It may not be
immediately clear how or why, but the Santa Clara County Health
Department has a long list of reasons.
Employers and mothers are invited to learn more about the
benefits of breast-feeding and also the rights and laws within the
workplace from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday at the Morgan Hill Community and
Cultural Center at 17000 Monterey Rd.
Employers: Breast-feeding can help you. It may not be immediately clear how or why, but the Santa Clara County Health Department has a long list of reasons.

Breast-fed babies don’t get sick as often, which lessens time spent away from work and reduces health care and insurance costs, according to Lillian Castillo, a registered dietitian and certified lactation educator.

Allowing mothers to breast-feed or pump breast milk at work – in a safe environment – increases employee satisfaction, Castillo added.

Medical studies show that breast-feeding should be done for the first year of child’s life to increase protection against breast cancer for mothers and also reduce the chance for breast cancer in the case of baby girls. Also, breast milk is uniquely superior to other animal’s milk that has been proven to increase growth and development, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The county’s recently released 10-year health profile report revealed that South County has a higher occurrence of obesity, 66 percent, and type two diabetes, 14 percent, than other parts of the county, while the number of women breast-feeding is low in comparison.

Employers and mothers are invited to learn more about the benefits of breast-feeding and also the rights and laws within the workplace at a presentation by California’s Deputy Chief Labor Commissioner Denise Padres and international board certified lactation consultant Wendy Wright. The discussion will take place from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday at the Morgan Hill Community and Cultural Center at 17000 Monterey Rd. The event is free.

Castillo said mothers and employers should be aware of the rights under the Lactation Accommodation Law (AB 1025) that was passed in 2002.

Employees are required to have a sufficient break to pump or breast-feed with a comfortable, clean and private space to do so and to store breast milk. Also employers should be aware of how to properly educate employees about workplace attitudes and policies toward mothers.

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