Family friendly. Worker friendly. Business friendly.
Today the Center for Health Communication joined a growing number of Texas businesses by becoming designated as a Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite. Mother-Friendly employers proactively support employees who choose to breastfeed their infants by providing time, space, and other support to maintain breastfeeding after returning to work. Employers that provide Mother-Friendly Worksites benefit from increased employee retention, lower absenteeism, higher morale, greater productivity, reduced health care costs, and improved short- and long-term health of the breastfeeding mother and her child.
Created by the Texas Legislature in 1995 and administered by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), the Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite Program recognizes employers with written policies reflecting their support for their breastfeeding employees. Such policies provide work schedule flexibility to allow milk expression breaks; offer a private space, other than a bathroom, where the employee can pump or breastfeed; and ensure easy access to a clean water source and hygienic milk storage arrangements.
To be designated as a Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite, an employer must submit an application and a qualifying written employee breastfeeding support policy to DSHS. An online application and listing of Texas Mother-Friendly Worksites is available on the program’s website, http://texasmotherfriendly.org
Texas Mother-Friendly Worksites represent a wide range of employment sectors, settings, and worksite sizes. A small sampling of employers with the Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite designation includes the City of San Antonio; Whole Foods Market; Texas Mutual Insurance Company; GameStop, Inc; BazaarVoice; Tesoro; The Children’s Courtyard; Freescale; Westwood High School; IBM, Corp; Texas Pit Stop BBQ; Texas Tech University; and Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company. Also designated are numerous hospitals, state agencies, and health and human services employers.
For more information on the Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite Program, visit the program’s website at http://texasmotherfriendly.org or contact the Department of State Health Services at 512-458-7111.