With Mother's Day approaching May 13, Mayor Don Wesely and Lancaster County Board Chair Kathy Campbell today announced that a Breast-Feeding Policy Initiative will be implemented to help mothers working in City and County government. The City and County will allow flexible breaks and private spaces for employees who are breast-feeding to encourage them to pump and collect their milk during the work day.
"The U.S. Surgeon General recently issued a Blueprint for Action that focuses on the compelling health and economic reasons why infants should be fed breast milk," said Wesely. "This policy will help further our efforts to make our City and County a healthier place for our children. We all stand to benefit from decreased health care costs, less parental absenteeism due to sick children at home and the improved lifelong health of our youngest citizens."
Campbell said the County also plans to purchase a breast pump for use in the County-City Building. Both she and the Mayor credited Ann Seacrest, a former member of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Board of Health, with creating the initiative and leading a health board subcommittee on the issue.
The new city policy signed by the Mayor today states by the end of this year, the city will identify areas for breast-feeding mothers that have locks on the doors, no windows or windows with blinds and an electrical outlet for a breast pump.
To extend the breast-feeding initiative into the community the Mayor is inviting business leaders, social service agencies and health care providers to a conference June 19 to learn more about encouraging working mothers to breast-feed. The conference, organized by the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department, is set for 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln. Registration information will be released soon.
The new policy is part of the Mayor's Healthy Kids 2010 initiative. "Directing our resources toward the health of our children provides the biggest bang for our buck because these programs focus on prevention and provide better health results over the long run," said Wesely.