An interesting juxtaposition has emerged in the last 50 or so years: most major health organizations agreed that breast milk is the best source of nutrition for infants, and at the same time, more moms invested in their careers than ever before (almost 70 percent of mothers were in the workforce in 2015, compared with just 47 percent in 1975). Integrating breastfeeding into a full-time workday is a major challenge for new mothers, and studies show that workplace barriers contribute to low rates of breastfeeding.
To address this, in 2010, the United States enacted a federal law requiring employers to provide break time and a place for hourly wage-earning and salaried employees to express breast milk at work. But the medical industry in particular has taken their support of nursing moms to the next level, not only by following the law, but also by introducing lactation services and breast pump rental programs, and even developing programs that let employees bring their nursing babies to work. So, perhaps all the medical mom needs is a good pair of maternity scrubs and a supportive employer!
Here are a few of the medical centers who went above and beyond to support their nursing employees in the past few years. Most of these hospitals are accredited by the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (Baby-Friendly USA), a governing body that helps medical centers develop programs that encourage more employees to breastfeed.
Deborah Swanson is a former Hospital Administrator who now works with