NBGH Offers Employers Help on Nursing Mothers Rules

February 3, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – The National Business Group on Health (NBGH) is offering employers a toolkit and an issue brief to help them create and promote onsite breastfeeding programs.

A news release said the availability of these resources follows the U.S. Surgeon General’s recent “Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding,” plan and will help employers who are now required under the federal health reform act to provide appropriate workplace accommodations for nursing mothers.

“Employers are becoming increasingly interested in workplace breastfeeding programs, and with good reason.  Working mothers represent the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. workforce and a major pool of talent which no employer wants to lose,” said Helen Darling, President and CEO of the National Business Group on Health, whose members include more than 300 large U.S. employers, in the news release.  “These programs have shown that they can help lower health care costs, increase productivity, reduce absenteeism as well as attract and retain valuable experienced employees.  In fact, one recent study of companies with lactation support programs found an average retention rate of 94 percent.”

The employer toolkit, “Investing in Workplace Breastfeeding Programs and Policies,” was developed with support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health and the Health Resources Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau.  The 71-page toolkit provides employers with the information they need to understand the components of breastfeeding programs, how to get started, and measure success. 

The toolkit is divided into ten major sections beginning with an overview of the business case for workplace breastfeeding programs and an in-depth discussion of the various program options available to employers.  Also included are case studies from three major employers with workplace breastfeeding programs.  The balance of the toolkit offers information on important aspects of a workplace breastfeeding program such as space allocation for lactation stations, education, and support.  The publication also includes an exhaustive list of resources and tools for employers and employees to help employers ensure that their programs are well received among their workers, the news release said.

The issue brief, entitled Workplace Breastfeeding Programs: Employer Case Studies, presents five case studies to provide guidance to employers regarding the development, implementation, and evaluation of workplace breastfeeding programs.  Case studies include CIGNA Corporation, Corning Incorporated, CVS Caremark, Occidental Oil and Gas Corporation, and Texas Instruments Incorporated.

More information is at http://www.businessgrouphealth.org/index.cfm.