In an effort to commend, celebrate and increase the number of NJ worksites that support breastfeeding employees, the New Jersey Breastfeeding Coalition (NJBC) selected Cooper University Health Care as a “NJ Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite.”
Cooper was recognized for important breastfeeding supportive practices including providing the availability of reasonable breaks to express milk or to nurse their child and access to a private space for expressing milk or nursing their child. Studies show that simple worksite support practices increase the duration of breastfeeding among employed mothers. Research also shows that breastfed babies have fewer illnesses contributing to less employee absenteeism.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all babies be exclusively breastfed for the first six months with breastfeeding to continue, with the introduction of solid foods, at least until the baby is 12 months old. Abundant research has revealed short term and lifelong health benefits of breastfeeding for mother and child. However, many mothers cite return to work as a reason for early discontinuation of breastfeeding.
“The pumping room has been a huge asset to me. I spend my days helping to care for some of the sickest infants while spending 12-14 hours away from my own child. While I love the work that I do, often times my days are busy, stimulating, and stressful. The pumping lounge has been a place for me to, sometimes even for just a few moments, relax and focus on how I am still able to provide the best nutrition, care, and support for my own baby even while being apart from her,” said Heather Comparri RNC, CBC, CPST, Associate Clinical Director, Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery at Cooper. “The pumping room has allowed me to feel successful as both a mother and a health care professional at the same time.”
The NJBC encourages all employers to learn about and become a breastfeeding-friendly worksite and then to complete the simple self-assessment by clicking here.
The New Jersey Breastfeeding Coalition is a collaboration of health professionals and community representatives whose mission is to improve the health of New Jersey families by working collaboratively to promote, protect and support breastfeeding. For more information about the New Jersey Breastfeeding Coalition, visit www.breastfeedingnj.org.
Wendy A. Marano
Public Relations Manager