FARGO, ND. — Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND) was recognized as "Infant Friendly," by the North Dakota Department of Health.
Employers can apply for this designation if they adopt a worksite policy that includes:
- Flexible work scheduling, including scheduling breaks and permitting work patterns that provide time for expression of breast milk
- A convenient, sanitary, safe and private location (other than a restroom), allowing privacy for breastfeeding or expressing breast milk
- A convenient, clean and safe water source with facilities for washing hands and rinsing breast-pumping equipment located near the private location
- A convenient place for temporarily storing breast milk, such as a refrigerator or cooler
According to research, breastfeeding also benefits the employer. Such benefits include lower healthcare costs because babies are healthier, lower absenteeism and lower turnover rates since women are more likely to return to their previous jobs if the company provides support for breastfeeding mothers. These benefits can provide considerable cost savings to employers.
"We are proud to receive this designation as it is important to have a workplace that is open and comfortable for all. Providing these policies, in addition to our new policy on parental leave, is a great demonstration of how we value new parents in our workforce," shares SVP of HR and Risk Management Joan McCusker.
Businesses interested in joining the list of recognized organizations can find resources for supporting their employees and the simple application at www.ndhealth.gov/breastfeeding.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota
BCBSND (www.BCBSND.com) was founded in 1940 with the mission to provide members with affordable access to health care across the state. As a member-owned, not-for-profit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), BCBSND is committed to transforming care and health across the state to improve outcomes, lower cost trends and make it easier to shop, buy and use health care coverage. Members have access to unmatched local service and to a comprehensive network of health care providers across the state, the nation and in 200 countries.