The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) and the Rhode Island Breastfeeding Coalition (RIBC) today presented Rhode Island Medical Imaging (RIMI) with a silver Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Award for support of breastfeeding mothers and promoting breastfeeding among employees and clients in eight of their facilities in Rhode Island. RIMI joins 18 Rhode Island businesses and organizations that have received the award since 2006. (To see a list of all previous award recipients, visit http://www.health.ri.gov/awards/breastfeedingfriendly/)
“It is important for all employers to continue to support breastfeeding employees,” said Director of Health David R. Gifford, MD, MPH. “Breastfeeding protects mothers and their children from numerous health risks and results in significant cost savings for families, the healthcare system, and employers. Breastfed children also have a lower risk for becoming overweight or obese in childhood and later in life.”
In addition, RIBC granted funds to Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School and to MomDocFamily to enhance breastfeeding accommodations in their facilities. MomDocFamily is an organization of women physicians from all stages of career and training that provides mentoring on combining a medical career with motherhood. Through their partnership with Brown Medical School, MomDocFamily will use these funds to support the development of additional lactation rooms for employees in two Brown-affiliated hospitals.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mothers exclusively breastfeed their babies for the first six months of life and continue breastfeeding for at least a year or longer if preferred. Rhode Island breastfeeding rates have slowly risen in recent years, but still fall below Healthy People 2010 national targets, according to the recently released US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2010 Breastfeeding Report Card posted at http://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/data/reportcard.htm.
RIBC is a coalition of community organizations working to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding in the state. For information about the benefits of breastfeeding, visit http://www.health.ri.gov/breastfeeding