PEOPLE & ORGANIZATIONS REPRESENTED: Community volunteers, United Way of Greater Greensboro, Greensboro Parks and Recreation, UNC Physicians, Nurse Family Partnership, UNC – Greensboro, Guilford County Partnership for Children
COMMUNITY PROBLEM: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be breastfed exclusively for the first six months of life; only 33.2% of Guilford County children under age five were breastfed for at least six months. (Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance System (PedNSO, a program of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), 2011).
CHALLENGE GOAL: Exploring interest in and creating a pathway for Guilford County to become a breastfeeding-friendly community.
READY/READY FRAMEWORK ELEMENT ADDRESSED: SUPPORTIVE FAMILIES > Healthy Families > Healthy prenatal and postnatal behaviors
PERSPECTIVES ENGAGED: Businesses who have been awarded the Breastfeeding Friendly Business or Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace designation from the North Carolina Breastfeeding Coalition, Guilford County Breastfeeding Alliance, La Leche League
ACTIONS TAKEN & ASSOCIATED BEST PRACTICES
- Defined the local problem: In Guilford County, there are many efforts to support breastfeeding mothers including lactation consultants and La Leche League; however, there is not a coordinated effort on the part of any group to gain the community-wide breastfeeding friendly designation.
- Assessed fit and capacity of local efforts: After reviewing several pathways to becoming a breastfeeding friendly community, this team decided to focus on the North Carolina Breastfeeding Coalition’s definitions of Breastfeeding Friendly Businesses and Breastfeeding Friendly Workplaces (PDF).
WHAT WE LEARNED
- Definition of Breastfeeding Friendly Business: The minimum criteria to become a breastfeeding friendly business are:
- We do not advertise infant formula or related products directly to consumers.
- Breastfeeding mothers are always welcome and respected. They will never be treated poorly, asked to stop breastfeeding, or asked to cover up or move.
- Definition of a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace: Workplaces that have made accommodations to support breastfeeding mothers as employees. This can be as simple as allowing employees to have flexible breaks and access to a private room for expressing milk or nursing. The room needs to have a comfortable chair and a lock on the door. Minimum criteria for receiving this award are:
- Not advertising infant formula or related products directly to consumers.
- All lactating employees are allowed breaks to express milk or nurse their children.
- All lactating employees have access to a private space for expressing milk or nursing. The space is not a bathroom. The space is lockable and shielded from view. The space has an electrical outlet and hand hygiene station.
- Evaluated a handful of different pathways to becoming a breastfeeding friendly community (including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Action Plan (PDF), Surgeon Generals Call to Action (PDF), Fresno County (website), Labbok/NC Plan, IL Department of Public Health 10-Steps, Smith BF Friendly Community Study Summary 2016 (PDF).
- Researched and interviewed the Guilford County businesses who have the Breastfeeding Friendly Business or Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace award from the North Carolina Breastfeeding Coalition.
- Assessed our own interests and honed in on a few realistic first step strategies in making our community breastfeeding friendly — identifying that at a community level we may want to focus on businesses becoming friendly for their patrons and employees, identifying champions in leadership positions who are advocates for breastfeeding, and raising the level of public discourse on the importance of breastmilk.
- Encourage more businesses to become breastfeeding friendly by starting with our own businesses or organizations applying for the award from the NC Breastfeeding Coalition.
- Create a peer network of businesses and organizations who are open to taking the next steps to be designated breastfeeding friendly for patrons and/or employees.
- Collaborate with existing organizations to stay involved in ongoing efforts to encourage breastfeeding.