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Prince George’s Hospital Center Earns Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Award

Cheverly, Maryland, October 1, 2015 – Prince George’s Hospital Center (PGHC), a Dimensions Healthcare System hospital located in Cheverly, Md., was awarded a Gold Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplace Award from both the D.C. Breastfeeding Coalition and the Maryland Breastfeeding Coalition.

Together, in partnership, the two organizations recognize work sites committed to promoting and protecting female employees’ rights to provide human milk to their infants as long as they choose. The coalitions unite breastfeeding advocates, healthcare providers, and families to provide a forum for the development and exchange of resources to foster the establishment breastfeeding as the normal way to nurture infants. Many health organizations, including the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics, strongly recommend an infant receive only human milk for the first 6 months and continue receiving breast milk, once complimentary foods are started, for a minimum of 12 months as optimal for nutrition and health benefits. Among the barriers to a longer duration of breastfeeding is maternal return to employment and a lack of education and support in the workplace.

Following its mid-August survey, Prince George’s Hospital Center’s Mother-Baby K200/300 unit was recognized. Hospital leaders will receive the award during an upcoming ceremony to be held in November.

“We are proud to receive this award acknowledging our commitment to employees who choose to breastfeed their children following their return to work,” says Candace Hanrahan, MSN, RN, CCRN, CNEP, vice president and chief nursing officer for Prince George’s Hospital Center. “We encourage new moms who have delivered at the hospital to breastfeed their babies. So it’s only right to support the same behavior amongst our own employees.”

PGHC was selected based on the support provided to new mothers in their return to work following birth. Early in 2015, the hospital opened a private, dedicated employee lactation room equipped with a rocking chair and hospital-grade breast pump, and provides each new mother with her own lactation kit. There is a partition for privacy and rugs and decorations for comfort. A sink and cleaning area stocked with supplies ensures a sanitary space, and housekeeping cleans the room regularly. A corkboard and white board encourage the exchange of information and support, and lactation specialists are available for individual support as well. Moms have access to the room 24 hours a day.

“Not a lot of moms come back to work pumping,” says Jennifer Doyle, MD, IBCLC, lactation consultant at Prince George’s Hospital Center who organized the effort.  “With these resources available to our employees, we hope to increase the number of our working moms who can continue to provide breast milk to their young babies. Without support, it’s nearly impossible to continue to breastfeed a baby.”

According to Doyle, studies have shown that work-site support of employees enrolled in an employer-provided lactation support program benefits companies through increased retention rates, employee satisfaction and morale, decreased healthcare and insurance costs, and a reduction in sick leave requests.

Meloria Davies, RN, a nurse at Prince George’s Hospital Center, is thrilled with the lactation room, which she says enables her to relax and easily pump breast milk for her 10-month old daughter.

“I like the way it is nicely decorated and I feel like I am at home,” says Davies, who returned to work after three months. “It gives you the ability to relax without anyone disturbing you and the milk flows easily. It’s like being at home with the baby breastfeeding.”


About Prince George’s Hospital Center

Prince George’s Hospital Center (PGHC), located in Cheverly, Maryland, is a 256-bed, acute care hospital with Maryland’s busiest Level II Trauma Center, serving all of Southern Maryland. In addition, the hospital has a full service cardiac care program and was among the first in Maryland to be designated as a cardiac intervention center for heart attack victims.  PGHC provides comprehensive inpatient services from intensive care to medical-surgical acute care. More than 11,000 individuals are admitted annually for inpatient care. The emergency department serves approximately 50,000 patients annually. In 2013, Prince George’s Hospital Center was the recipient of the National Organ Donation Award. Prince George’s Hospital Center is a proud member of Dimensions Healthcare System, the largest not-for-profit healthcare system headquartered in Prince George’s County and Southern Maryland (Charles, St. Mary’s and Calvert Counties). For additional information about Prince George’s Hospital Center, visit www.dimensionshealth.org.



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