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Helping to Implement Workplace Breastfeeding

Appian Way Arch in Winter

Keene State College’s public health department received a grant from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services, to work with small businesses and organizations across the state to improve worksite accommodations for employees who breastfeed.

During the past year, Keene State completed work with 10 sites, and has been awarded funding for one additional year, and 10 more sites. The completed sites include Manchester Community College, Monadnock Waldorf School, and McLean Communications. New grant applications must be received by 5:00p.m. on January 18.

“There is consistent data that show the health benefits for both baby and mother when it comes to breastfeeding. Women who make the decision to breastfeed should have a workplace that supports their wishes. In the end, it’s best for everyone if we can provide women with this basic and important need,” said Keene State College Assistant Professor of Public Health, Amanda Hickey.

Mini-grants of $5,000 are provided to each participating worksite. These funds may be used to develop or improve a written policy supporting accommodations for breastfeeding. The initiatives can also help to improve breastfeeding spaces, worksite training around breastfeeding, and educational materials and/or paid facilitators to help promote a culture of acceptance of breastfeeding in the workplace.

Currently, the Keene State team is seeking additional businesses and organizations in the state for participation. Participating worksites must have less than 100 employees, and be based in New Hampshire. Interested employers should contact Amanda Hickey at Amanda.Hickey@keene.edu.

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