At the request of Supervisor Jane Parker, a ‘Lactation in the Workplace’ policy was unanimously approved by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors on April 13th, 2010. The County is now one of four California counties to maintain such a policy to support and promote breastfeeding among its employees. The Policy begins by stating:
"It is the policy of the County of Monterey to strongly support and encourage the practice of breastfeeding by striving to accommodate the needs of employees, by ensuring that employees are provided with adequate facilities for breastfeeding and/or the expressing of milk for their infant children. Furthermore, it is the policy of the County of Monterey to provide support and awareness of the importance of breastfeeding to County employees and the community."
The progressive policy expands on the State and Federal laws regarding breastfeeding and lactation in the workplace. Existing law provides for unpaid break time and appropriate facilities for lactating employees to express milk for their infant children. The Monterey County policy includes additional provisions for training and support to maximize the benefits of breastfeeding for employees and their children, including breastfeeding and lactation resources on the Employee Wellness website, breastfeeding information packets for expectant women and their spouses, and consultation by Wellness program staff regarding lactation accommodation issues.
Scientific research indicates that breastfeeding and the use of human milk for infant feeding results in positive outcomes not only for the mother, infant and their family, but for the workplace, community and environment as well. An infant who is breastfed has a lower risk of infectious diseases, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), overweight/obesity, type 1 and type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, asthma, and lymphoma and leukemia. A mother who breastfeeds has reduced risks of breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and future risk of osteoporosis. Epidemiologic research clearly shows that human milk and the breastfeeding of infants provide advantages with regard to general health, growth, and development, while significantly decreasing risk for a large number of acute and chronic diseases.
Supervisor Parker applauded the policy as a fundamental strategy for the development of healthy children, families, and communities.
For more information about breastfeeding resources in Monterey County, please contact the Breastfeeding Coordinator for Monterey County at 796-2866, the Perinatal Services Coordinator at 755-4640 or Monterey County Wellness at 755-4611.
A copy of Jane's Board Referral requesting a Lactation in the Workplace policy can be found here.
A copy of the complete County of Monterey Lactation in the Workplace Policy can be downloaded here.
Find additional resources for County employees online at https://www.mtyhd.org/wellness/index.php/programs/pregnancy/
Monterey County Declares August Breastfeeding Awareness Month
Link to Resolution adopted on July 13th, 2010
Monterey County Breastfeeding Resources
Guide to Monterey County Breastfeeding Support Services
California Breastfeeding Coalition
US Department of Health and Human Services - The Business Case for Breastfeeding
The White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity released a report including four recommendations relating to breastfeeding support.