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First-of-Its-Kind Program Aims to Reduce Primary Barrier to Breastfeeding for Hourly and Lower-Wage Working Mothers
Date:2/9/2009

Corporate Voices for Working Families, Abbott Nutrition, and Working Mother Media Launch Program to Support Breastfeeding in the Workplace

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Corporate Voices for Working Families announced today that it has launched an initiative to help solve a problem facing many working mothers, especially those in hourly and lower-wage positions -- the need for breastfeeding support in the workplace. In partnership with Abbott Nutrition, Working Mother Media and a select group of companies, this new program aims to give employers the information and tools they need to reach hourly and lower-wage workers and help establish workplace lactation programs.

In a July 2008 survey of the Working Mother Magazine 100 Best Companies, more than one-third of employers said there are real barriers to implementing lactation programs for hourly and lower-wage employees. These barriers include scheduling conflicts, lack of dedicated lactation rooms, and limited promotion of lactation benefits to hourly employees.

"It's clear that workplace lactation programs benefit employers. When women breastfeed, babies and mothers may be healthier, they may miss less work-time and employee satisfaction and productivity can increase," Donna Klein, President and Founder of Corporate Voices for Working Families, said. "Opening the door to extend workplace lactation programs to all employees is a challenge that can be overcome and this new program offers tools to help."

A key component of the initiative - Workplace Lactation Programs: Good for Working Families. Good for Business.(TM) - is a workplace lactation toolkit that provides instructions, tips and template materials. Important elements of the program include recommendations for employers on how to support employees with breastfed babies, guides for working mothers who breastfeed, and sample promotional materials to alert employees to the resources provided by the program.

"Breastfeeding is the gold standard for infant nutrition but for many lower wage moms returning to work is a barrier to extended breastfeeding," said Dr. Larry Williams, senior medical director, Abbott Nutrition. "As a leader in infant nutrition, Abbott's goal is to ensure optimal nutrition for infants, whether mothers choose breastfeeding, infant formula or a combination of both. Abbott has a long history of supporting health professionals and parents with breastfeeding education materials and programs and we're pleased to support this first-of-its kind program as a solution to an issue many working mothers face."

Details on the Toolkit to Support Breastfeeding in the Workplace

Workplace Lactation Programs: Good for Working Families. Good for Business.(TM), available on the Corporate Voices for Working Families website at www.cvworkingfamilies.org, is designed to help front-line managers implement lactation programs and educate hourly and lower-wage employees on how they can make a choice in infant nutrition. Material contained in the toolkit is available in both English and Spanish. The workplace lactation program will be distributed throughout the business community and to healthcare organizations, community groups and government agencies.

The Workplace Lactation toolkit was developed in consultation with a select group of member companies and healthcare professionals, including: Ceridian; CVS Caremark; IBM Corporation; ICF International, Inc.; Knowledge Learning Corporation; LifeCare; Marriott International, Inc.; Metropolitan Life Insurance Company; PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.; and The TJX Companies, Inc.

About Program Sponsors

Corporate Voices for Working Families is the leading national business membership organization representing the private sector on public policy issues involving working families. We aim to improve the lives of working families and the competitiveness of American businesses. Our website: www.cvworkingfamilies.org. Our blog: www.corporatevoices.wordpress.com.

Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs more than 68,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries. Abbott Nutrition develops and markets a wide range of science-based infant formulas, medical nutritionals, nutrition and energy bars, and related products to support the growth, health and wellness of people of all ages. News releases and other information are available on the company's Web sites at www.abbott.com and www.abbottnutrition.com.

Working Mother Media is a division of Bonnier Corporation and includes the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE), Diversity Best Practices, the WorkLife Congress, and the Multicultural Women's Conference and Town Halls. Founded in 1979, Working Mother magazine reaches 2 million readers and is the only national magazine for career-committed mothers. Its 23-year signature research initiative, Working Mother 100 Best Companies, is the most important benchmark for work/life practices in corporate America. Working Mother Media's mission is to champion cultural change. For more information, please visit www.workingmother.com.

Related Links

    Press Contacts
    Rob Jewell
    Corporate Voices for Working Families
    (330) 631-9298
    rjewell@cvworkingfamilies.org

    Carolyn Valek
    Abbott Nutrition
    (614) 624-7485

    Sarah Hawes
    The Rosen Group for Working Mother Media
    (646) 695-7050
    sarah@rosengrouppr.com


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SOURCE Corporate Voices for Working Families
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