According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mothers are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. labor force. Approximately 70% of employed mothers with children younger than 3 years work full time. One-third of these mothers return to work within 3 months after birth and two-thirds return within 6 months. Working outside the home is related to a shorter duration of breastfeeding, and intentions to work full time are significantly associated with lower rates of breastfeeding initiation and shorter duration. Low-income women are more likely than their higher-income counterparts to return to work earlier and to be engaged in jobs that make it challenging for them to continue breastfeeding. Given the substantial presence of mothers in the work force, there is a strong need to establish lactation support in the workplace (Source: The CDC Guide to Breastfeeding Interventions).
Northgate Gonzalez Markets was the first business in San Diego County to become a Live Well San Diego partner back in April 2013. Since then, Northgate Gonzalez Markets continue to actively lead the way for businesses in making health and wellness a priority for their customers and staff. With such a strong wellness presence through their employee wellness program, Viva La Salud and the WellBaby Program, it is not surprising that Northgate Gonzalez Markets has risen to the top for the progressive work they are doing to promote “breastfeeding friendly” workplaces.
Northgate Gonzalez Markets was recently awarded the San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition (SDCBC) Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace Award. The award is a testament that Northgate continues to implement exceptional, comprehensive health and wellness programs that will positively impact not just employees and customers, but children as well. Northgate was chosen to receive this award because they were able to show compliance with the guidelines in place by SDCBC, reinforcing what makes a workplace breastfeeding friendly. These parameters include: privacy for milk expression, flexible breaks and work options, education, support and written policy – all of which Northgate had in place due to their collaboration with the Lactation Supportive Environments Initiative and Worksite Wellness Program through UC San Diego Center for Community Health. The San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition will be presenting the award to Northgate Gonzalez Markets at the Liquid Gold Gala on Saturday, October 3, 2015.
In addition to their lactation policy, Northgate implemented a new WellBaby program which focuses on helping mothers achieve a healthy pregnancy and assist mothers when they return to work. The WellBaby Program benefits include:
Promoting and providing “breastfeeding friendly” workplace environments is critical for working mothers. Mothers that feel supported in their lactation endeavors will in turn be happier, healthier, employees who miss less work and feel more valued on the job. Northgate Gonzalez Markets is helping lead the way in supporting breastfeeding mothers and encouraging other businesses throughout the region to do the same.