In August, during World Breastfeeding Week, we reported that 20 school districts in Florida has adopted work-site breastfeeding policies, including Clay County in Northeast Florida. Many policies were adopted through the work of the Florida Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) initiative.
Seven months later, we are happy to see that the number of school districts with policies now totals 34! In Northeast Florida, now both the Clay County and Nassau County school districts have provided mothers with policies to encourage breastfeeding in the workplace.
The CPPW was created through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to improve the health of Floridians. There were three specific interventions that the initiative focused on: increased physical activity, improved nutrition and tobacco-free parks.
Lactation support from employers with 50 or more employees is law under the Fair Labor Standards Act and strengthened under the Affordable Care Act. These employers are required to provide reasonable unpaid break times until the baby is one year and a private place other than a bathroom.
Besides the health benefits for mother and baby, employers are encouraged to support breastfeeding because it saves money too: through lower absenteeism rates, better retention of employees, lower health care costs and higher productivity.