Alexandria, La. – Rapides Regional Medical Center and Rapides Women’s and Children’s Hospital have each been recognized as a “Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Champion” by the Louisiana Breastfeeding Coalition.

This designation is awarded to workplaces that provide time, space and support for employees who breastfeed or pump to feed their babies.

“As a healthcare provider, it makes sense that we would encourage and support our employees who choose to breastfeed or pump for their babies,” said Karen Hathorn, MSN, RN, NE–BC, Administrative Director of Rapides Women’s and Children’s Hospital. “Businesses that support employees who are breastfeeding have lower health care costs, lower turnover, higher productivity and morale and positive public image within their communities.”

To qualify as a Breastfeeding–Friendly Workplace Champion, workplaces must offer:

  • Reasonable break time for working mothers to pump breast milk each time they need to throughout the day;
  • One or more permanent breastfeeding rooms, or a clean, private and safe space with an outlet, other than a toilet stall, that can be used when needed;
  • A working sink near the breastfeeding location where pumping equipment can be cleaned;
  • And lactation support that is communicated to all employees.

Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Champions also have written policies to support breastfeeding in the workplace.

Rapides Regional Medical Center provides three lactation rooms on the hospital campus for employees.

“We know our employees can benefit from knowing they have a clean, safe, quiet lactation room available to them while they are at work,” Hathorn said. “Having a baby at home is stressful enough. Coming back to work after having a baby shouldn’t be stressful, too.”