Tri-County Health Care has been named a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace by the Minnesota Department of Health for its contributions to the health of mothers and their babies.

MDH recognizes workplaces and county health departments that have demonstrated their commitment to supporting breastfeeding mothers by creating a workplace lactation support program, according to a TCHC news release. The designation is achieved by adopting a written policy and educating staff about it, ensuring adequate break time for breastfeeding employees, providing a clean, private place to pump breast milk and demonstrating a strong commitment to supporting breastfeeding in the workplace. After observing how often the first lactation space was used, TCHC added a second to further accommodate employees.

“When a mother makes the decision to breastfeed her baby, there is a lot of hard work involved and I want to make sure our lactation space is clean, comfortable, easy to access and a place where they can relax while pumping on their breaks,” said Sarah Riedel, TCHC OB supervisor and internationally board-certified lactation consultant. “This is a huge commitment from our employees who return to work and continue to pump for their babies, so we want to make this an easy transition for them.”

Breastfeeding provides optimal nutrition for babies during their first formative years of life, and studies show that infants who are breastfed have better health outcomes as they grow.

To learn more about how to become a breastfeeding friendly workplace, visit health.state.mn.us/breastfeedingfriendly.