Online Program

BEST [Breastfeeding Employer Support Time] Project

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Tyler Lennon, BS, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Carrie Vanden Wymelenberg, MSW, CLC, African American Breastfeeding Network, African American Breastfeeding Network, Milwaukee, WI
Dalvery Blackwell, BS, IBCLC, African American Breastfeeding Network, Milwaukee, WI
Earnestine Willis, MD, MPH, Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Background:  According to CDC, mothers are the fastest-growing segment of the labor force.  Working outside of home is associated with shorter duration of breastfeeding.  Low-income women are more likely to be challenged to continue breastfeeding while working. There is a need to establish lactation support for these women recognizing the benefits of breastfeeding up to 6 months of age. The BEST [Breastfeeding Employer Supported Time] goal is to increase employers’ awareness and interventions strategies to increase implementation of the Affordable Health Care Act Reasonable Breaktime for Nursing Mothers Law.

Objective:  To demonstrate the effectiveness of lactation support in the workplace and to support businesses implementation of BEST model for women returning to work. 

Method:Utilizing Diffusion of Innovation Theory as a framework, this project identified businesses as early adopters and recruiting them to serve as the innovators (Mentors) to similar businesses (Mentees) to increase lactation support in the workplace.

BESTstrategies include:

(1)   Increase business awareness, engagement, and participation in lactation support using focus groups and survey of key informants;

(2) Build infrastructure and collaborative efforts with Chambers of Commerce, Wage and Labor Division, local labor organizations, and local policy coalitions in order to disseminate and sustain the a lactation support model;

(3)  Implement outreach and support strategies for area businesses in a mentor/mentee role; and

(4) Evaluation of the effectiveness of these programs on duration of lactation and end-users satisfaction. 


Conclusion:  BEST Project will demonstrate a framework to comply with the ACA law and benefit working lactating mothers.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe current knowledge of the Affordable Health Care Act "Reasonable Break Time for Nursing Mothers" Describe employer benefits of supporting a worksite lactation program. Define collaborative work with community organizations, clinics, hospitals, and WIC Clinics to enhance awareness among mothers about the Reasonable Break Time for Nursing Mothers law. Demonstrate the need for increased business awareness, engagement, and participation in the implementation of lactation-support programs. Identify businesses to outreach to develop lactation support strategies to support women returning to work who plan to express milk. Design and assess baseline surveys in the workplace to assess area business compliance with the federal law. Analyze the impact of the development and dissemination of educational and promotional materials to enhance awareness of the Reasonable Break Time for Nursing Mothers policy. Discuss the employers development of written worksite lactation policy and protocols. Formulate a mentoring network for employers to assist similar businesses with the development and/or expansion of a lactation program. Define and build infrastructure and collaborative efforts with Chamber of Commerce, Wage and Labor Division and local labor organizations in order to sustain and disseminate a lactation model to support other geographic areas locally, and nationally. List partnerships with local chamber of commerce to promote breastfeeding support among employers.

Keyword(s): Breastfeeding, Workplace

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Among my scientific interests as a medical student has been the development of strategies to increase breastfeeding duration rates in the low income population. I have been an investigator on a Kellogg grant focusing on this topic for the past year where I have worked extensively on this topic.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.