North Dakota Recognizes Infant Friendly Businesses during World Breastfeeding Week
BISMARCK, N.D. – In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7, the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH) recognizes that 111 businesses in North Dakota have been designated Infant Friendly since 2011.
World Breastfeeding Week is an annual global celebration drawing attention to the health impacts of breastfeeding for both babies and mothers. The theme this year is “Sustaining Breastfeeding Together,” celebrating that working together for the common good produces sustainable results, greater than the sum of individual efforts.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life, followed by breastfeeding in combination with the introduction of complementary foods until at least 12 months of age. In North Dakota, 82 percent of women start breastfeeding their infants, but by six months only 23 percent continue exclusively breastfeeding.
One reason for decreasing breastfeeding rates as infants get older is maternal employment. According to the United States Census Bureau, in North Dakota, 74 percent of women with children younger than six years of age are in the workforce. This creates the perfect opportunity for businesses to support employees with their breastfeeding goals.
According to Mikaela Schlosser, Maternal Child Health Nutritionist with the NDDoH, “Workplace lactation support is a temporary accommodation that can be a win-win for the employee and business. A supportive work environment improves morale. Supportive businesses can experience reduced health care costs, lower turnover rates, and higher productivity.”
The NDDoH is pleased to announce the following North Dakota businesses obtained Infant Friendly designation since August 2016:
• Williston – CHI St. Alexius Health
, Eide Bailly LLP
• Bismarck – Bismarck Veterans Memorial Public Library, City of Bismarck, Eide Bailly LLP, Proximal50, Upper Cervical Health Centers
• Devils Lake – Lake Region District Health
• Fargo – Cass County Government, CoreLink Administrative Solutions, Courts Plus Community Fitness Center, Dakota Medical Foundation, Eide Bailly LLP, Elim Care Center, Fargo Park District, Fargo Jet Center, Fargo VA Health Care System, Hornbacher’s, Lillestol Research LLC, ManorCare Health Services, Preference Employment Solutions, SpartanNash, Sundog, TMI Hospitality, Town & Country Credit Union, Tronsgard & Sullivan Dental, Weather Modification Inc., YMCA Early Learning Center South, YWCA Cass Clay
• Grand Forks – Altru Health System, HOPEful Beginnings, Hornbacher’s, Valley Memorial Homes, Women’s Pregnancy Center
• Kenmare – Town & Country Credit Union
• Minnewaukan – Benson County Public Health Office
• Minot – SpartanNash, Town & Country Credit Union
• New Rockford – Eddy County Public Health Office
• Rugby – Pierce County Public Health Office
• Stanley – Town & Country Credit Union
• West Fargo – Apex Physical Therapy & Wellness Center, City of West Fargo, Town & Country Credit Union, WEX Health
Employers can apply for the Infant Friendly designation if they adopt a policy that includes components outlined in North Dakota law SB2344. Organizations can find resources for supporting their employees and the simple application at ndhealth.gov/breastfeeding.
For more information about the Infant Friendly designation or World Breastfeeding Week, contact Mikaela Schlosser, North Dakota Department of Health, at 701.328.4529.