MSUM has been named a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) for its contributions to the health of parents and their babies.
MDH recognizes workplaces and county health departments that have demonstrated their commitment to supporting breastfeeding employees by creating a workplace lactation support program. MSUM is one of 171 breastfeeding-friendly workplaces recognized by MDH.
Dana Bisignani, Coordinator of the MSUM Women’s Center and Rainbow Dragon Center, Melissa Osland, Director of Human Resources, and Vice President of Human Resources and Workplace Equity Ann Hiedeman, were instrumental in securing the university’s breastfeeding recognition. It exemplifies the gender equity work of the Women’s Center and the campus community.
“Our goal is to remove as many barriers as possible for our breastfeeding students so they can fully access the education they came here for,” Bisignani said. “Having private lactation rooms on campus can also help ease the transition back to work from maternity leave for our employees.”
MSUM offers three private lactation and meditation rooms that ensure our pregnant and parenting students and employees have a place to pump or breastfeed with privacy and dignity. MSUM also adopted an official breastfeeding policy in the spring of 2019.
“We want our campus and community to know we are working to ensure MSUM is equitable for everyone who engages with the university,” Bisignani said. “We aspire to be a leading example in our community for others who want to do the same.”
At least 25 percent of MSUM’s female student and employee population could potentially utilize the university’s lactation rooms.
The designation acknowledges MSU Moorhead’s commitment to acting as a model for the community by supporting healthy families and receiving the business benefits of supporting nursing employees. The designation is achieved by adopting a written policy and educating staff about it; ensuring adequate break time for breastfeeding employees; providing a clean, private place to pump breast milk; and demonstrating a strong commitment to supporting breastfeeding in the workplace.
This is MDH’s recognition program, which was created and is supported by the state Women, Infants and Children program (WIC) and the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP).
To learn how to apply for recognition, visit health.state.mn.us/breastfeedingfriendly.