The VWBF is an award program designed to recognize businesses who are providing support in the workplace to their breastfeeding employees. The Virginia Workplace Breastfeeding-Friendly Awards recognize the Commonwealth's champions who have gone above and beyond many federal and state requirements for workplace support and are therefore leading the way for family wellness. VBC, and future Virginians, are grateful to these businesses for their vision and commitment.
Award recipients are evaluated on a set of criteria for three levels of breastfeeding support: Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Additionally, site inspections were conducted at some of the applicants. Businesses that meet the criteria are recognized with a certificate, press announcements, website directory listing, and a luncheon ceremony.
On the Virginia Breastfeeding Coalition's website, you can find the Business Case for Breastfeeding, a comprehensive guide designed to educate employers about the value of supporting breastfeeding employees in the workplace. The guide highlights how such support contributes to the success of the entire business. The guide was developed by the Business Group’s Center for Prevention and Health Services in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health and the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau.
Other links on the Virginia Breastfeeding Coalition's website point you to breastfeeding laws, toolkits, instructional videos, resources and support for professionals, educators, mothers and human resources departments.
Virginia's Workplace Breastfeeding-Friendly Award program was made possible by a grant from the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Virginia Breastfeeding-Friendly Early Care recognition program can be found here.
To find out more about Workplace Breastfeeding-Friendly resources for employers and employees, visit VBC's resources page.
NASA Langley Research Center
"I’ve nominated NASA Langley Research Center for the large company award because, in my opinion, the Center has exceeded expectations to ensure that their employees feel comfortable and are supported in their decision to breastfeed. NASA has set up a support system to ensure employees have access to the necessary information and resources to transition from maternity leave back to work, coordinate with their supervisors, find a secure location, and to ultimately be successful in their choice to breastfeed. Through an internal NASA website, employees are able to find internal resources, policies, guidance and support avenues as well as references to outside resources (i.e. La Leche League, CINCH, and the AAP). Resources are also available to supervisors to assist their employees.
"NASA Langley currently has 12 official lactation rooms conveniently located throughout the Center with varying amenities based on availability, all are able to be scheduled via Microsoft Outlook. Three rooms have access to Medela Symphony pumps with personal accessories available for purchase at the on-site clinic. All rooms have access to basic needs while some have additional amenities such as in-room refrigerators, adjacent restrooms, laptop docking stations, etc. Our on-site Child Development Center (daycare) features a bonding area with designated stations for mothers to nurse at their convenience during lunch or on breaks.
"Personally, I am very fortunate to have an incredibly supportive management team who have created a special and exclusively designated space for me to pump. Our building does not have a designated lactation room, so my Deputy Director completely emptied out one of our supply closets and installed a desk, chair, lamp, and laptop connections to make it more convenient for me to pump without having to leave the building."
Thank you for your consideration,
"Not only has Monica created a breastfeeding supportive and friendly environment, but she has encouraged a uniquely strong bond and relationship for myself and my daughter by allowing me to have my daughter with me at work up until her first birthday. I have never been away from my daughter for more than a few hours.. this work environment Monica helped create has been instrumental to my breastfeeding success.
"Not only that, but she also completely cleaned out the little closet and created a great little office for me to nurse, change, and work with the baby- literally hauled cabinets and all sorts of things out of this room to create a safe space for me.
"I’m not exaggerating- if you guys had a titanium diamond level award, she deserves it!!!!"
-- Lindsey Nicholson, Store Manager
BRONZE LEVEL (one point each)
Does this workplace provide a verbal agreement between employee and their direct supervisor regarding the break times and space to pump?
Does this workplace provide flexible breaks - at least two 15-20 minutes in the morning and afternoon as well as a meal break - during which the employee can express milk or nurse?
Does this workplace provide unpaid leave?
Does this workplace provide a list of local breastfeeding resources - Human Resources or Occupational Health Department Health or web-based?
Does this workplace provide educational packets or materials about breastfeeding for all expectant parents?
Does this workplace provide a private area shielded from intrusion with a chair and small table, access to electricity and a nearby working sink?
Does this workplace provide an ability for employees to post a "Do Not Disturb" sign or lock the door while the area is in use?
SILVER LEVEL (two points each)
Does this workplace provide written breastfeeding support policy or guidelines? If yes, please put a link to the breastfeeding policy in the Comment Section below.
Does this workplace provide educational training about breastfeeding support policy/guidelines for managers and supervisors?
Does this workplace provide a community bulletin board for sharing in the lactation area?
Does this workplace provide the ability to work part-time?
Does this workplace provide the ability to telecommute?
Does this workplace offer job-sharing?
Does this workplace offer flex-time? (Flextime allows employees to customize their schedules within a certain range of hours and days.)
Does this workplace offer a compressed work week option? (A compressed work schedule allows an employee to work a traditional 35-40 hour workweek in less than the traditional number of workdays.)
Does this workplace offer on-site classes, web-based classes, or prenatal classes?
Does this workplace offer post-partum, back-to-work on-site or web-based classes?
Does this workplace offer breastfeeding resources?
Does this workplace offer a comfortable chair in the room?
Does this workplace offer a refrigerator for breastmilk storage?
In addition to a dedication lactation space, does this workplace offer overflow room(s) as needed?
GOLD LEVEL (three points each)
Does this business offer a peer breastfeeding support group?
Does this workplace offer education or training about breastfeeding support policy/guidelines for all employees?
Does this workplace post or publish the breastfeeding policy/guidelines?
Does this workplace's breastfeeding policy/guidelines contain information about discrimination, flexible breaks, non-bathroom space to pump? The policy must contain all three.
Does this workplace provide paid maternity leave, six weeks or more?
Does this workplace provide on-site childcare?
Does this workplace have a contract with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) to provide one-on-one consults for employees paid by employer for pre-natal consults, post-partum consults during maternity leave, or back-to-work consults?
Does this workplace provide a designated, private room for pumping/breastfeeding?
Does this workplace provide a multi-user pump?
Does the workplace provide multiple locations within the facility for pumping or breastfeeding?
Gold Award Recipients scored over 36 out of 65 points possible.
Silver Award Recipients scored over eight out of 65 points possible.
Bronze Award Recipients scored up to eight points out of 65 possible.
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