CINCH helps five more employers support breastfeeding

Story Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2013 15:57:00 EDT

The Consortium for Infant and Child Health (CINCH) recently worked with the following five Hampton Roads employers to implement the Business Case for Breastfeeding program:

  • Children’s Harbor, a nonprofit childcare agency with locations in Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Suffolk and Norfolk
  • City of Virginia Beach, Department of Human Services, Mental Health Substance Abuse Division, Prevention Services
  • Old Dominion University
  • Virginia Port Authority
  • YMCA of South Hampton Roads, with 11 branches in Hampton Roads

“Providing lactation rooms to our employees has been an important step in transitioning new mothers back to work,” explains Kristen Cooney, Human Resources Manager for Virginia Port Authority. “I think it has helped build morale and decrease stress for moms to know they have a clean and private environment where they can pump their breast milk and continue to provide nutrition to their newborns.”

Lori Duron is an Executive Secretary with Virginia Port Authority. “As a first-time mother of twin girls,” she says, “having lactation room was essential to provide food for my children. I don’t think I could have breastfed as long as I did, to my children’s benefit, without the clean and private space that my employer provided. I know mothers who’ve had to use bathroom stalls and locked offices with windows that were uncomfortable and unsanitary. I am very thankful that the lactation room was provided during our office remodel.” 

Virginia Port Authority, Old Dominion University, and the YMCA of South Hampton Roads each created or improved lactation areas in multiple locations. Children’s Harbor improved lactation areas in all four of its locations. “Children's Harbor is so glad that we’re able to offer a private and comfortable space for our nursing mothers,” says Susan Pollack Curriculum and Program Director. “Having the ability to continue breastfeeding after returning to work is not only healthy for the baby, but it gives peace of mind to the mom as well. We are in the business of caring for families. Thanks to EVMS and CINCH, our new lactation rooms are one more way we are able to do this.”

These five employers join 16 others that participated in the program in previous years.

CINCH, a regional child health coalition sponsored by EVMS, received funding from the Virginia Department of Health to implement the Business Case for Breastfeeding program. Funding came through the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant (PHHS) distributed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Funds provided furnishings, including chairs, tables, mirrors, compact refrigerators and privacy screens, as well as educational materials.

The Business Case for Breastfeeding is a collection of materials created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services designed to educate employers about the value of supporting breastfeeding employees in the workplace. Studies have shown that women who receive lactation support in the workplace are more likely to choose to breastfeed and to continue breastfeeding after return to work.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be exclusively breastfed for about the first six months of life.

CINCH is a nationally recognized child-health coalition whose mission is to engage the community to improve children’s health. CINCH has improved immunization rates, asthma management and perinatal health; enrolled thousands of children in health insurance programs; promoted implementation of community obesity prevention policies; trained thousands of local health and service providers on children’s health issues; advocated for a multitude of child health issues; and brought significant resources into the region to improve children’s health. CINCH also manages the Healthy Portsmouth initiative on behalf of the City of Portsmouth. CINCH is a program of EVMS.