The Business Case For Breastfeeding


[Click to view the new online database of model breastfeeding-friendly businesses by industry plus much more support for helping businesses support breastfeeding mothers from the Office on Women’s Health.] 

North Carolina Breastfeeding Coalition has been a proud participant in the national effort to increase breastfeeding-friendliness in the workplace by implementing the resources of The Business Case for Breastfeeding Toolkit.

Is your business breastfeeding-friendly? Be recognized by NCBC!

NCBC recognizes local companies that support breastfeeding families. In doing this, we distinguish between “Breastfeeding-Friendly Businesses” and “Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplaces”.

Read on for more information and click here to view a sample application.

Click Here to Apply Now!

Click here to see our current list of awardees!

What is a Breastfeeding-Friendly Business or Workplace?

Breastfeeding-Friendly Businesses are businesses that welcome breastfeeding mothers as customers. This can be as simple as treating breastfeeding mothers well, never asking them to leave, cover up, or move. Businesses who have been granted the Breastfeeding-Friendly Business Award can proudly display the Breastfeeding-Friendly window cling. Minimum criteria for receiving this award are:

  • We do not advertise infant formula or related products directly to consumers.
  • Breastfeeding mothers are always welcome and respected. They will never be treated poorly, asked to stop breastfeeding, or asked to cover up or move.

Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplaces are workplaces that have made accommodations to support breastfeeding mothers as employees. This can be as simple as allowing employees to have flexible breaks and access to a private room for expressing milk or nursing. The room needs to have a comfortable chair and a lock on the door. Minimum criteria for receiving this award are:

  • We do not advertise infant formula or related products directly to consumers.
  • All lactating employees are allowed breaks to express milk or nurse their children.
  • All lactating employees have access to a private space for expressing milk or nursing. The space is not a bathroom. The space is lockable and shielded from view. The space has an electrical outlet and hand hygiene station

What’s in it for the employer to go Breastfeeding-Friendly?

Breastfeeding-friendly (BFF) employers benefit from lower health care costs, lower turnover and absenteeism rates, higher productivity and morale. It also creates a positive image in the community as a “family friendly” business. Read success stories of BFF businesses around the country. Breastfeeding-Friendly is also the law. Under the Affordable Care Act, businesses with greater than 50 employees are required to provide hourly-workers with time and space to pump or breastfeed during the workday.

Why apply for the NCBC Breastfeeding-Friendly award?

In addition to the economic and health benefits mentioned above, BFF businesses will receive recognition via this website, a “We’re Breastfeeding-Friendly” window cling, and a certificate to display. BFF workplaces will receive a “We’re Breastfeeding-Friendly” certificate mounted on a wooden plaque to display. Click here to apply now!

Applications received no later than:

– February 1 receive March Awards
– July 1 receive August Awards

Can I do more to support breastfeeding?

As an employer, having a written breastfeeding support policy and orientation to the policy for all employees is a good first step. Flexible return to work policies, onsite childcare, prenatal breastfeeding classes, and post-partum breastfeeding support groups are all great additions to a breastfeeding-friendly work environment. A superior lactation room has a small table close to an electrical outlet where the employee can put her pump (or the employer provides an electric breast pump), and a refrigerator for milk storage. Other amenities may include breastfeeding art or a place for baby pictures, a telephone, a music player, a wall clock, and a sink for hand-washing and cleaning equipment.

As a business, having a written policy supporting a customer’s right to breastfeed and educating staff on that policy is a good place to start. Other ways to support breastfeeding women can be access to a private room for nursing or expressing milk with a comfortable chair and a lock on the door, and displaying print materials for breastfeeding resources or breastfeeding promotion.

About the Grant Funding

In 2009 NCBC was one of 10 states to receive a $10,000 grant to implement the Business Case for Breastfeeding in their communities. The effort was sponsored by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS), Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), with additional support from the US DHHS Office of Women’s Health.

In 2012, we received another grant of $2500 to recognize businesses which had implemented lactation support programs. The programs we identified have become part of a national database for employers to search to find examples of businesses like their own who have implemented lactation programs. This can help employers design a program that will work for their type of business.

For more details about how we spent these grant monies, click here.

For more information:

Let’s move North Carolina closer to being a breastfeeding-friendly state! For more information, contact NCBC committee chairs for Business Case for Breastfeeding:

  • Chair: Hope Lima;
  • Assistant Chair: Cristina Botero;
  • Area Coordinators
    • Perinatal Region I: position open
    • Perinatal Region II: position open
    • Perinatal Region III
      • Rebecca Ruhlen;
    • Perinatal Region IV:
      • Raleigh: Catherine Smith;
      • Raleigh: Hope Lima;
      • Chapel Hill/Carborro: Susan O’hara-Brill;
    • Perinatal Region V: position open
    • Perinatal Region VI: position open
  • Friends of the Golden Bow
    • Email to become a Friend of the Golden Bow Committee today!


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