Madison Hospital named first breastfeeding friendly business in the state

Data pix.

MADISON, Ala. - Most new mothers will tell you, breastfeeding is difficult, especially once they go back to work. While nursing mothers have the right to breastfeed in public, there are no state laws in Alabama that require employers to support them at work.

A North Alabama business has been recognized for supporting breastfeeding, not only for their patients but also for their employees.

Baby Elijah is born

Baby Elijah is just a day old. His mother will do all she can to care for him, including breastfeeding, but that's not the case for all moms.

"The CDC report card for breastfeeding for Alabama as a state is about 67% initiation rate," said Madison Hospital lactation consultant Kristine Taff.

That's because while many businesses offer nursing areas for visitors or customers, the workers are often left out.

"I know it's hard as a new mom just in general, so I can't imagine going back to work and not being supported," said Emily Fogg. She's a nurse in the medical-surgical unit at the hospital and a mother to a three-month-old baby.

But that's not the case at Madison hospital. "Our hospital takes it a step further making sure all of our employees are knowledgeable of the [breastfeeding] law of Alabama," said perinatal services director Renee Colquitt.

Every step has made Madison Hospital the first breastfeeding friendly business in Alabama.

A breastfeeding-friendly business - for employees too.

Madison Hospital was officially named a Breastfeeding Friendly Business by the Alabama Breastfeeding Committee. To be recognized, a company must have a clear breastfeeding policy, provide a clean and private space for employees to breastfeed or pump and allow time to do so during the workday.

“We are honored to be the first Breastfeeding Friendly Business in Alabama. Breastfeeding has proven benefits for new mothers and babies, and we strongly encourage all new moms to breastfeed, including those who work at our hospital," said Renee Colquitt, CRNP, Madison Hospital’s Director of Perinatal Services.

Madison Hospital was the first hospital in North Alabama to receive the Alabama Breastfeeding Committee’s Better Bama Babies (BBB) Hospital Recognition. In 2017, the hospital was designated a Baby Friendly-USA hospital for adopting clinical guidelines proven to help new mothers breastfeed successfully.

Madison Hospital is investing in the future 

The hospital keeps a high-grade breast pump in a designated room like this one for visitors and employees. Moms don't have to worry about bringing their own pumps but they should bring their own collection bottles and tubing. Employees also get access to the hospital's lactation consultants and they're allowed time to breastfeed or pump during their workday.

"It takes a lot of stress and worry off the employee because there's plenty just as a new mom in general - plus coming back to work," said Fogg.

Taff said, "it's an investment into our future to make sure that our children get breastfed," and to make sure Elijah grows to be a healthy boy.

Support for Breastfeeding Moms

Both Madison Hospital and Huntsville Hospital provide breastfeeding support services for ongoing support from Certified Lactation Consultants, answers to questions and solutions to common problems, weight checks with infant scales, and connections with other new moms who are also meeting their goals.

Breastfeeding Support Group

  • Mondays from 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Thursdays from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Located in Madison Hospital's Wellness Center classroom

Extended breastfeeding group

  • Second Friday of each month from 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
  • For moms who choose to breastfeed their child beyond 12 months
  • Located in Madison Hospital's Wellness Center classroom

Huntsville Hospital Breastfeeding Mothers Group

  • Tuesdays and the first and third Saturdays of each month from 10 - 11:30 a.m.
  • Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children, ground floor classroom

 

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