LUMBERTON — Southeastern Health was recently awarded Breastfeeding-Friendly Business and Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace awards by the North Carolina Breastfeeding Coalition.
The award was earned because of the organization’s support of breastfeeding employees, patients and visitors. Over the past year, Southeastern Health has established an Employee Lactation Lounge within Southeastern Regional Medical Center for nursing employees to express milk and has implemented a policy supporting the use of the designated private space for lactating mothers.
“I am very proud of the accomplishments our facility was able to obtain so far and look forward to many more to come,” said Jenny Philabaum, SRMC lactation consultant.
Criteria for the business award require that the facility not advertise infant formula directly to customers as well as providing a welcoming and respectful atmosphere for breastfeeding mothers. For the workplace award, Southeastern Health had to show that it did not advertise infant formula, allows breaks for expression or feedings, as well as provides a private space for expressing milk or nursing that was not a bathroom, was lockable and provided an electrical outlet and hand-washing station.
According to the NCBC, breastfeeding-friendly employers benefit from lower health care costs, lower turnover and absenteeism rates, higher productivity and morale.
August is National Breastfeeding Month. This year’s theme is Charting the Course Together. For more information, log on to www.usbreastfeeding.org/nbm.