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FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IN ESCAMBIA COUNTY RECEIVES HIGHEST LEVEL BREASTFEEDING FRIENDLY EMPLOYER AWARD

By FDOH Escambia

March 21, 2016

Pensacola, Fla. –The Florida Breastfeeding Coalition, a chapter of the United States Breastfeeding Committee registered with the CDC, recognized the Florida Department of Health in Escambia County (FDOH-Escambia) as a Gold Level Florida Breastfeeding Friendly Employer for their commitment to supporting breastfeeding employees.

Businesses meeting Gold Level criteria provide: a private lactation room with specific furnishings, written breastfeeding support policies and education, flexible schedules and breaks, lactation consultation services, and many additional breastfeeding resources.

Breastfeeding promotes long-term health effects for both mother and child. According to the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics, children who are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life have lower rates of respiratory infections, dermatitis, asthma, obesity, diabetes, childhood leukemia, and a lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome. In addition, mothers who breastfeed have decreased risks for breast and ovarian cancer.

Women with children are the fastest-growing segment of the work force. In 2012, the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics noted that 57% of all mothers with infants were employed. A growing body of evidence suggests that rates of breastfeeding duration are higher among women who have breastfeeding support programs in the workplace. According to FDOH-Escambia’s Breastfeeding Program Coordinator, Anne Sanborn, MPH, IBCLC, “When mothers return to work after their babies are born, time and space to express their milk during the work period help them continue to give their best to both their work and their baby.”

FDOH-Escambia encourages employers to support breastfeeding families, and to better-prepare breastfeeding mothers for their return to the workplace. For more information about breastfeeding resources, visitEscambiaHealth.comor call the FDOH-Escambia Breastfeeding Program at 850-595-6670.