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Local companies honored for setting up breast milk pumping stations for working moms

More than a dozen employers throughout Milwaukee were honored for their commitment to helping news moms.

The event is part of World Breastfeeding Awareness Week. The African American Breastfeeding Network together with Well City Milwaukee and the Medical College of Wisconsin hosted a recognition breakfast at the  Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health.

The businesses have set up designated breastfeeding stations that allow moms to pump in private and store the milk.

When it's easier for mothers to breastfeed, the whole family benefits.

\"So when women breastfeed there's reduced absenteeism for the mom and the dad because kids can stay healthier,\" explained Gail Bennett who is the Director of Well City Milwaukee.

The Affordable Care Act requires employers to provide lactation programs in the workplace, creating more family friendly environments. 

According to the CDC, mothers are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. labor force, with approximately 70% of employed mothers with children younger than 3 years' working full-time.

One-third of these mothers return to a shorter duration of  breastfeeding and two-thirds return within 6 months. Working outside of the home is
related to a shorter duration of breastfeeding and to work full-time is significantly associated with lower rates of breastfeeding initiation and shorter duration.

Furthermore, low-income women, among whom African and Hispanic women are overrepresented, are more likely than their higher income counter parts to return to  work earlier and have jobs that make it challenging for them to continue breastfeeding.

Given the substantial presence of mothers in the work force, there is a need to establish lactation support in the workplace.

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