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More Communities Encourage Breastfeeding-Friendly Businesses

Rapid City Regional Health has taken the pledge to be a Breastfeeding-Friendly Business. All 48 South Dakota Regional facilities are showing their support for breastfeeding moms by creating breastfeeding-friendly environments for both patients and employees. Rapid City Regional Health is the first healthcare system in South Dakota to take the pledge system-wide.

“As healthcare providers, we at Regional Health know how important breastfeeding is for mother, baby, and family,” said Shanon Waldner, Director of Women and Children Services. “We have certified lactation consultants in Rapid City and Spearfish to help new mothers. All of our postpartum nurses are trained to assist with breastfeeding, and we have outpatient services available in Rapid City and Spearfish.”

Rapid City Regional Health, along with a number of Black Hills area businesses, were inspired to join the movement that has been working its way across the state and now includes nearly 100 cities and towns.

The Breastfeeding-Friendly Business Initiative, launched in 2015, aims to make breastfeeding in public and 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.
  • Breastfeeding moms miss work less often.
  • Breastfeeding moms report higher work satisfaction and productivity.

Businesses can take the pledge to:

  • Provide a welcoming environment where breastfeeding mothers are able to breastfeed in public spaces within the business.
  • Encourage a welcoming attitude from staff, management, and to the fullest extent possible, other customers.
  • Place the Breastfeeding Welcome Here window cling in each public entrance to the business establishment.
  • Accommodate breastfeeding employees to allow appropriate time and space necessary to pump, to best of their ability.

Learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding-friendly environments and take the pledge to join the over 600 pledged businesses in South Dakota.

In 2015, Brookings was selected by the South Dakota Department of Health as the pilot community for the Breastfeeding-Friendly Initiative. Aberdeen area businesses joined the initiative in 2016. For more on how these communities adopted the initiative, download their press releases and press kits.

Rapid City Regional Health Press Release

Aberdeen Press Release

Brookings Press Release Packet