Hopkins expands breastfeeding support program

Recognizing the positive benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child and responding to the increasing number of women in the workforce with children under the age of 3, the Office of Work, Life and Engagement is expanding the breastfeeding support program available to all full-time employees of the Johns Hopkins Institutions.

A Pumps for Purchase program has been instituted, and A Complete Guide to Hosting a Mother's Room has been created and is available online.

Women choosing to breastfeed after returning to work can register to use mother's rooms across campuses and find resources available to them at hopkinsworklife.org/breastfeeding.

The Breastfeeding Support Program includes private, clean breastfeeding rooms throughout Johns Hopkins campuses, some equipped with hospital-grade breast pumps (free breast pump collection kits are available to full-time employees earning less than $40,000 a year); a breastfeeding support coordinator who guides mothers on breastfeeding after returning to work, provides referrals, information, and resources, and oversees the program's success; online resources for mothers and managers; personal breast pumps for purchase at reduced prices, up to $120 off; and an e-list that provides information on upcoming breastfeeding classes and other program changes and enhancements.

"I want to express my sincerest appreciation for the commitment that Hopkins has taken in providing a safe, comfortable, and sanitary location for nursing mothers," Shonoi Ming, a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Medicine, recently wrote to the breastfeeding support coordinator. "As a new mom, I have found that breastfeeding and working has been more difficult than I had ever imagined. However, I have been exclusively breastfeeding my son for almost 6 months, and I owe it all to the lactation room provided."

For more information about breastfeeding after returning to work, legislation that protects women who choose to breastfeed, and strategies that managers and co-workers can use to support a colleague who breastfeeds, go to hopkinsworklife.org/breastfeeding or contact Meg Stoltzfus, Lifespan Services manager, at mstoltz1@jhu.edu or 443-997-7000.

Posted in University News