Black Hills area businesses have joined Aberdeen and Brookings in their efforts to promote the Breastfeeding-Friendly Business Initiative. A team of advocates, supporters and community leaders in the Black Hills were inspired to follow suit to encourage local businesses to pledge their support to breastfeeding moms by creating breastfeeding-friendly environments for both customers and employees!
Mitchell, Hot Springs, and Huron have also expressed interest in the initiative and are now canvassing businesses in their communities.
Brookings was selected by the South Dakota Department of Health as the pilot community for the Breastfeeding-Friendly Business Initiative with the goal of working with businesses to make breastfeeding in public a non-event and making pumping at work a non-event.
Breastfeeding provides many health benefits for both mom and baby, but it’s also good for business: breastfeeding mothers are more likely to patronize businesses where they feel comfortable, businesses with breastfeeding programs have higher employee retention rates, and breastfeeding moms also miss work less often and report higher work satisfaction and productivity.
Businesses can take the pledge to:
o Provide a welcoming environment where breastfeeding mothers are able to breastfeed in public spaces within the business.
o Encourage a welcoming attitude from staff, management, and to the fullest extent possible, other customers.
o Place the Breastfeeding Welcome Here window cling in each public entrance to the business establishment.
o Accommodate breastfeeding employees to allow appropriate time and space necessary to pump, to best of their ability.
Brookings businesses that have stepped up to become the first in the state to take the pledge include: 3M, Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce, Brookings County, Brookings Health System, Children’s Museum of South Dakota, City of Brookings, Hy-Vee, and South Dakota State University.
The Brookings Supports Breastfeeding team represents the Brookings Area Chamber of Commerce, Brookings Health System, and South Dakota State University and are the primary partners in this initiative.
To find out more about the benefits of breastfeeding-friendly environments or to take the pledge, click here.