Breast-feeding friendly environment - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Local health department aims to help new moms feel comfortable at work

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Chippewa County (WQOW) - A collaborative effort in Chippewa County aims to make new moms feel more comfortable at work.

They want to help new moms continue to pump milk for their infants even after they've returned to work. The health department began this project after a survey done by the county's WIC program found that about half the infants who had been breast-fed since birth, were no longer being fed the same way.

Once their mothers returned to work, many women found it difficult or uncomfortable to find time to pump while at the office.

Through this new initiative the county is hoping to help local employers find ways to promote a more breast-feeding friendly environment for working mothers.

Recently the Chippewa County public health department has been reaching out to a number of local employers, talking to them about how they approach the topic of breast feeding in the workplace.

"Continuing breast-feeding while mom returns to work really gives them the opportunity to continue that bond that they have with their baby even when they're apart, so this is a great opportunity to continue to support our moms in the community that continue to breastfeed," says Stephanie Abbe, the public health nutritionist at Chippewa County.

"What we're really trying to do is create a culture that's supportive of breast-feeding and hope that it spreads, says Christina Anderson, the current public health intern.

Federal law requires that employers provide break time for their employees to pump breast milk, in places other than a restroom until their child is one year old.

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