Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is committed to promoting and supporting optimal breastfeeding practices toward the ultimate goal of improving the public's health. August 2015 is National Breastfeeding month, take time to celebrate this year’s theme of “Breastfeeding and Work: Let’s Make it Work.”
Public Health and medical professionals recommend exclusively breastfeeding for the first year with the introduction of complementary foods around 6 months of age, 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 is encouraging large and small businesses throughout the County to follow Colorado law and provide employees “reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for two years after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express milk.” It’s easy for employers to support breastfeeding, and public health can help with information as needed.
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 at a minimum: support from supervisors and colleagues, adequate break time (paid or unpaid) to express breast milk, and a private area to express her milk that is not a restroom. All employers, regardless of their size or number of employees, must comply with the “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” law.
Jefferson County has worked together with various departments and facilities to provide Quiet Rooms where mothers can breastfeed in various locations within the Jefferson County Government Campus. Jefferson County employees are encouraged to ask their departments/divisions about accommodations. 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.
- Jefferson County Public Health’s WIC Program (Women, Infants and Children) provides breastfeeding consultations and education to eligible participants and County residents. For more information about breastfeeding or workplace accommodation and quiet rooms, please visit the JCPH Breastfeeding Education and Support page or call Kelsey Rivera, RD, IBCLC at 303-239-7139.
- If you are a breastfeeding friendly establishment and would like to be included in a list we are creating for the County as well as receive a breastfeeding friendly decal, please contact Kelsey at 303-239-7139 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Visit the World Breast Feeding Week website for more information on the week and breastfeeding.