Friday, December 19, 2014

Jefferson County Supports Nursing Mothers and Breastfeeding

Jefferson County Public Health is committed to promoting and supporting optimal breastfeeding practices toward the ultimate goal of improving the public's health. Public health professionals recommend breast milk exclusively for the first year of an infant’s life due to the health benefits it provides both mothers and infants. In an effort to increase breastfeeding rates throughout the county, Jefferson County Public Health’s WIC (Women, Infants, Children), Facilities and Breastfeeding Support programs have worked together to provide Quiet Rooms where mothers can breastfeed in various locations around the Jefferson County Government Campus. The Quiet Rooms are located in the Jefferson County Public Health Arvada and Lakewood WIC clinics, the Laramie building and the Courts & Administrative building.

Colorado’s breastfeeding law passed in 2008 states, “A mother may breastfeed in any place she has a right to be.” In addition, under the Affordable Care Act, Section 4207 requires employers to provide “reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express milk.” All employers, regardless of their size or number of employees, must comply with the “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” law.

Mothers are one of the fastest growing segments of the U.S. labor force and several studies have indicated that support for lactation at work benefits not only families, but employers as well by improving productivity; enhancing the employer’s public image; and decreasing absenteeism, health care costs, and employee turnover.

For more information about the quiet rooms or the Jefferson County Public Health Breastfeeding program, please visit the JCPH Breastfeeding Education and Support page or call Kelsey Rivera, RD, IBCLC at 303-239-7139.

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