Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital (SGCMH) Becomes a Gold Level - Missouri Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite

9/1/2021

Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital (SGCMH) Becomes a Gold Level - Missouri Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite

Ste. Genevieve, MO – Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital (SGCMH) has joined a growing number of Missouri businesses by becoming a Missouri Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite – Gold Level.  Breastfeeding friendly employers proactively support employees who choose to breastfeed their infants.  They provide time, space and other benefits to maintain breastfeeding after a mom returns to work.  Employers who provide these supports see a positive impact on their business’s bottom line.

Employers that provide lactation support services report higher employee retention, lower absenteeism, higher morale, greater productivity, reduced health care costs.  Many studies have also shown improved short- and long-term health of the breastfeeding mother and her child.

“Lactation support programs are a growing trend in businesses today as a means of improving family services to employees,” said Sarah Jo Kelley, executive director of Human Resources and Support Services.

Over 80 percent of Missouri mothers choose breastfeeding as the optimal form of infant feeding.  Yet, many of these women do not meet their breastfeeding goals.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified returning to work as a major reason why many women stop breastfeeding. 

The Missouri Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite Program is a collaboration between the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) and the Missouri Breastfeeding Coalition.  The program aims to bring an increased awareness about the importance of worksite lactation support.  The program recognizes employers with policies supportive of their breastfeeding employees.  Such policies provide a flexible work schedule for milk expression breaks; offer a private space, other than a bathroom, where the employee can pump or breastfeed; and ensure easy access to a safe water source and a place to store milk.

“And, we achieved gold level for having access to a lending library and a lactation consultant which enhances our support services so much more,” commented Bernadette Hill, director of SGCMH Maternity Care.

The Hospital is dedicated to ensuring that it’s patients and staff gets the support they need including an educational packet about breastfeeding given to patients, expectant employees and their partners.

“We want our employees who are new mothers to know that we support their decision to continue breastfeeding,” said Kelley. “We are extremely pleased to be designated as a Missouri Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite.”

To be designated as a Missouri Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite, an employer must submit an application to the DHSS. For more information on the Missouri Breastfeeding Friendly Worksites Program, visit the program’s website, or contact the State Breastfeeding Coordinator at 573-751-6468 or by email at breastfeeding@health.mo.gov.

Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital is a nonprofit county owned community hospital that works to continue to improve the health and well-being of the community. Our professional staff uses advanced technology and medicine to provide excellent, personalized, and compassionate healthcare. For more information on Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital, visit stegenevievehospital.org.

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