Breastfeeding moms returning to work at Seton Medical Center Harker Heights can feel at ease knowing their workplace has been named a Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite.
“This is a visible sign to our associates that we are supportive of their choice to breastfeed their infants,” said Heidi Cantrell, Director of the Women's Center at Seton Harker Heights.
The Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite Program was created by the Department of State Health Services to “reduce barriers to breastfeeding by increasing the proportion of employers who have worksite lactation support policies and programs.” The program encourages employers to proactively support employees in combining working and breastfeeding.
“The designation represents the support Human Resources gives to our employees. We want our staff to know that leadership is supportive of a mom returning to the workplace, and even more so if she wants to continue breastfeeding,” explained Cantrell.
Breastfeeding through a baby’s first year has important benefits that last a lifetime for mom and baby. A mother’s breast milk contains ingredients that protect baby from illness and allergies and is linked to decreased risk for infant illness and mortality. According to sources, breastfed babies have fewer ear infections, less GI issues and lower rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Moms who breastfeed have lower risks of breast cancer and heart attack.
Organizations carrying the Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite designation support worksite lactation by meeting the following criteria:
1. Work schedule flexibility to allow adequate time for the expression of breastmilk.
2. Access to a clean, safe water source and a sink to wash hands and clean pumping equipment.
3. Access to clean running water to wash hands and clean pumping equipment.
4. Access to hygienic options for storage of expressed breastmilk.
Seton Harker Heights is expanding its capabilities as a Mother-Friendly workplace.
“Our facility is continuously moving forward in our efforts to improve care and increase the support we offer to breastfeeding mothers,” shared Cantrell.
“We currently have a task force, and we have assessed and implemented improvements to apply for our Texas Ten Steps Certification. The Department of State Health Services in collaboration with the Texas Hospital Association developed the Texas Ten Step Program as a method to improve maternity care practices. The Ten Step Program is implemented to improve the support and care of the mothers who deliver in our facilities,” explained Cantrell.
At Seton Harker Heights, we are committed to supporting not only working parents but all employees. If you are interested in joining our team, click here to view current opportunities and to apply online.