Tag Archives: Breastfeeding

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

World Breastfeeding Week – Support Breastfeeding Moms!

On August 1-7, South Dakota will join the rest of the nation and countries around the globe in celebrating World Breastfeeding Week. This year’s theme Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life, focuses on breastfeeding as a universal solution to improve the health, well-being and survival of women and children around the world.

83.6% of South Dakota mothers breastfeed—way to go South Dakota moms!
But that percentage significantly drops at 6 and 12 months of age, as does the rate of exclusive breastfeeding. Exclusive breastfeeding means that the infant receives only breast milk. No other liquids or solids are given – not even water – with the exception of oral rehydration solution, or drops/syrups of vitamins, minerals, or medicines. It is recommended to exclusively breastfeed for about 6 months, followed by continued breastfeeding as complementary foods are introduced, with continuation of breastfeeding for 1 year or longer as mutually desired by mother and infant.

There are numerous benefits to breastfeeding—for both baby and mom. 
Breastfed babies get more than 200 nutrients and specific ingredients to bolster their health. Breast milk changes as the baby grows, which is one reason the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies be breastfed at least a year and as long as moms and babies want after that. Mothers who breastfeed lose pregnancy weight more easily and reduce their risk of breast and ovarian cancer, postpartum depression, and type 2 diabetes.

Breastfeeding is also economical, saving as much as $1,000 in formula costs during baby’s first year.

South Dakota’s breastfeeding rates tell us that most mothers want to breastfeed but continue to face barriers and don’t always get the support they need to be successful. We can all do more to stand behind them! One way businesses in your communities can show their support is by learning about and taking the Breastfeeding-Friendly Business Pledge. Over 575 businesses in South Dakota have already taken the pledge!

In acknowledgement of the importance of breastfeeding, Governor Dennis Daugaard has proclaimed August 1-7 World Breastfeeding Week in South Dakota. Check out the proclamation!

PRAMS Report & Breastfeeding Infographic

The South Dakota Department of Health, in conjunction with the EA Martin Program at South Dakota State University, conducted a 2016 Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS)-like surveillance project. This survey collects state-specific, population-based data on maternal attitudes and experiences before, during, and shortly after pregnancy. The data report, summaries, and infographics are all available for download.

Benefits of Breastfeeding: Parents, Physicians & Business Owners

We know breastmilk is best for baby because the benefits of breastfeeding extend well beyond basic nutrition – but breastfeeding takes teamwork. Support from dad, family, friends, physicians, and business owners can all play a critical role in making breastfeeding successful.

Knowledge is one of the most powerful tools. No matter what your role – support materials and information are available. Here are a few great places to start:

SD WIC: Parents
For Baby’s Sake

Physicians & Healthcare Providers
SD WIC: Physicians

Business Owners
Breastfeeding Friendly Businesses

Benefits of Breastfeeding for Babies

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding an infant exclusively for the first six months of life with breastfeeding continuing for 1 year and beyond with appropriate supplemental foods. Breastfeeding passes on powerful antibodies to babies, which help protect their immune systems from disease. Breastmilk is the perfect way for nutrients to be delivered to your baby.

Breastfed babies are healthier:

  • Fewer ear infections
  • Less colic, gas, & spitting up—because breastmilk is so easily digested
  • Fewer stomach problems or constipation
  • Less risk of pneumonia & respiratory illnesses
  • Less risk of allergies & asthma
  • Less risk of SIDS
  • Less risk of obesity in childhood
  • Less risk of diabetes
  • Better brain development
  • Exposure to a variety of tastes — which makes it easier to introduce solids later
  • Helps promote proper jaw, tooth, & speech development

Additional Breastfeeding Support

Many South Dakota communities have prioritized breastfeeding to help moms overcome barriers and breastfeed longer. Look for these breastfeeding supporters in your community:

  • The WIC Program – The This Department of Health Program provides counseling and advice on breastfeeding. WIC also supports breastfeeding by supplying women who need to go back to work or school with breast pumps.
  • Hospital Lactation Consultants – These breastfeeding experts can be found in hospital and clinics and are ready to help with questions after delivery.
  • Breastfeeding Peer Counselors – These women have had experience in breastfeeding and want to see you succeed! They will provide advice and personal experience to help you and your baby get the most out of breastfeeding. To find a peer counselor in your area, contact your local WIC office.
  • La Leche League and other support groups – Support groups are filled with moms who either need breastfeeding help or just want to connect with other moms that are breastfeeding. Local WIC offices will have information on breastfeeding support groups in your community.
  • Family and Friends – This group of people is considered one of the most important for breastfeeding success! Find a family member or close friend that has breastfed. More than likely, she will want you to feel the same bonding that she felt with her baby.
  • Dads – South Dakota fathers are champions when it comes to breastfeeding support. They know their family better than anyone and can help make a huge difference in breastfeeding success!
  • Online Resources – Families can also find plenty of breastfeeding support through the internet. Here are a few places to start:
    La Leche League
    Baby GooRoo

Worksite Breastfeeding Support Model Policy

Provide and encourage your employer to adopt the Breastfeeding Support Model Policy.  The policy provides a framework for businesses to support breastfeeding employees and includes information on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which requires employers (with ≥ 50 employees) to provide nursing mothers with:

1) reasonable break time to express breast milk for one year after her child’s birth each time such employee has the need to express breast milk; and

2) a private space, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion of others, to express breast milk.

Breastfeeding Support Model Policy

The Breastfeeding Support Model Policy was developed to provide businesses with guidelines and guidance on ways to support breastfeeding employees including information on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act which requires employers to provide nursing mothers who are hourly workers with:

1) reasonable break time to express breast milk for one year after her child’s birth each time such employee has the need to express breast milk; and

2) a private space, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion of others, to express breast milk.

US Breastfeeding Report Card

The CDC Breastfeeding Report Card provides state-by-state data to help public health practitioners, health professionals, community members, child care providers, and family members work together to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.

Hospital Practices to Support Breastfeeding

The Baby- Friendly Hospital Initiative describes Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding that have been shown to increase breastfeeding rates by providing support to mothers.