Lactation Lounge Is Latest Addition to Jefferson Efforts to Promote
a Healthier Start for Young Lives
Recognizing that a growing number of women are returning to
work while breastfeeding their newborns, Jefferson opened a lactation lounge
for female employees. This private comfortable room is located on the 11th
floor of the Foerderer Pavilion and is equipped with electric breast pumps,
a refrigerator for milk storage and an in-house phone. Separated from their
baby and unable to breastfeed during the day, back-at-work moms can use
the breast pumps to express their milk to feed their baby later.
Repeated studies have shown that the disease-fighting properties of mother's
milk help protect babies from diarrhea, allergies, infection and other ailments.
Not only are babies more resistant to illness, nursing moms recover faster
from delivery and use less sick time or personal leave because their infants
Despite the benefits of breastfeeding for mother and child, it's often the
workplace environment that influences whether working moms continue to nurse.
Fifty-five percent of working mothers try breastfeeding after giving birth,
but six months later only 24 percent of part-time and 12.5 percent of full-time
mothers are still continuing to breastfeed, according to figures from the
Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies National Coalition.
"To maintain her supply of breast milk, a nursing woman must be able
to express her milk regularly throughout the day," explains Joan Bretschneider,
RN, PhD, assistant nursing director of the Women and Children Care Program.
"Companies, including Jefferson, that provide support and resources
to breastfeeding moms, including a private place where they can pump and
store their milk, demonstrate that they care about the health of mothers
All female employees taking a maternity leave of absence are sent a letter
informing them of and inviting them to use Jefferson's lactation lounge.
In addition to the lactation lounge, Jefferson offers other services to
support breastfeeding women. The Parent Education Program offers a free
"Combining a Career and Breastfeeding" class every six weeks for
expectant and new moms. The Breastfeeding Support Program is staffed by
certified lactation consultants who can answer questions and provide information
about topics related to breastfeeding. The Jeff Quip retail store carries
a variety of breastfeeding aids to help nursing moms at home and at work.
"With the lactation lounge, I didn't have to choose between breastfeeding
or returning to work," says Maria Pharr, MD, a fellow in family medicine.
"Everyone benefits from this service ­p; me, my baby and Jefferson.
I would encourage all breastfeeding working moms to take advantage of Jefferson's