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Mother-Friendly Worksite

About The Grant

About the Grant

In February 2010, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) was awarded the competitive Communities Putting Prevention to Work-State and Territory Initiative-Special High Impact Initiative (CPPW) grant by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Through this national initiative, funds were competitively awarded to states to implement one or more high-impact policy, environmental, and system change strategies to address health disparities, achieve health equity, and prevent chronic disease related to nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco control or a combination of these. CDC received 68 applications, and 13 states were funded with award amounts ranging from $1,022,792 to $3,000,000 per state.

The award of $2.8 million was granted to implement the Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite Policy Initiative to facilitate the development and implementation of best-practice worksite policies that support breastfeeding , an evidence-based nutrition strategy, statewide. The Mother-Friendly Worksite Policy Initiative provides guidance, tools, and support to employers for development, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based worksite lactation support policies and programs that are: 1) responsive to needs of employees and their babies; 2) feasible and sustainable for employers; and 3) beneficial for the health of Texans. Through these efforts, the Mother-Friendly Worksite Policy Initiative seeks to increase the reach and spread of the Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite Program to address disparities in maternal and child health outcomes by reducing employment-related barriers to breastfeeding initiation, duration, and exclusivity.

Development of worksite lactation support policies and programs is recognized as a critical strategy for breastfeeding support. For example, worksite lactation is called for in numerous key health and public policy documents, including:

  • The 2011 Surgeon General's Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation.
  • The 2011 Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding.
  • The Healthy People 2020 Maternal, Infant and Child Health Objective: "Increase the percentage of employers who have worksite lactation programs."
  • The National Business Group on Health's 2009 toolkit for employers, Investing in Workplace Breastfeeding Programs and Policies.
  • The US Department of Health and Human Services Business Case for Breastfeeding toolkit
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publication, The 2005 CDC Guide to Breastfeeding Interventions.
  • The Strategic Plan for the Prevention of Obesity in Texas: 2005-2010 and Updates for the Strategic Plan for the Prevention of Obesity in Texas include promotion and adoption of Mother-Friendly Worksite policies supportive of breastfeeding as a key activity for the prevention of obesity in Texas. Increasing the number of worksites that have initiated policies and practices that support breastfeeding and lactation was identified as one of 19 key targets for prevention of overweight and obesity in the 2008 Updates.
  • The DSHS Building Healthy Texans Model State Agency Wellness Program. Seven priority wellness objectives were identified, including the priority objective to improve support for breastfeeding mothers.
  • As part of their Healthier Worksite Initiative, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed a Worksite Lactation Support Program toolkit as a model for development of comprehensive lactation support program at the worksite.
  • All major health organizations' policies and positions on breastfeeding.

Only 13.5 percent of Texas infants were exclusively breastfed for 6 months of life, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.4,31

Texas Mutual Insurance Company

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