W3AP  (Read as Triple W  AP) - stands for “Women Workers Welfare Advocacy Program”, a program lodged with the Women Workers Development Division (WWDD) of the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC). All advocacy initiatives pertaining to the Family Welfare Program, the anti-sexual harassment, and other related laws that affect women workers shall be published under this program.  This maiden issue focuses on the setting up of the lactation stations as provided for in the newly enacted “Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009”.  The contents of this material will be particularly helpful to Human Resource managers, as they will be guided in how to set up or operationalize the provisions of said law.

SETTING UP A WORKPLACE LACTATION STATION :
a guide for employers and family welfare committees

w31  A lactation station is one of the low-cost family-friendly facilities an employer can put up at the workplace for the benefit of employees. Anything a company can do to add benefits to an employee’s working life helps to attract  people and retain people. Breastfeeding mothers who wish to continue breastfeeding their children after they resume their work have special needs. A lactation station provides safe and healthful working conditions for women workers taking into account their maternal functions, thus, promoting the constitutional provision of providing facilities and opportunities to enhance their potential in the service of the nation. A recently passed law,

Republic Act 10028 or the “Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009”

which amended RA 7600 or the “Rooming-in and Breastfeeding Act of 1992,” adopts a national policy to encourage, protect and  support the practice of breastfeeding. Specifically, this law requires establishments to set up lactation  stations in the  workplace and provide compensable time for breastfeeding and  lactation periods.

    Breastfeeding is nature's way to nourish and protect young infants. The many benefits of exclusive breastfeeding to the child specifically in the first 6 months are irreplaceable. The positive effects for the working breastfeeding mother are equally rewarding.

For the child, exclusive breastfeeding reduces infant deaths caused by common childhood illnesses such as diarrhea and pneumonia as well as  hasten recovery during a bout of illness. Breastmilk provides all the energy and nutrients that an infant needs during the first 6 months. For the working breastfeeding mothers, some of the positive effects are the delay in the resumption of normal ovarian cycles and the return of fertility in most women. Breastfeeding mothers lose their weight gained during pregnancy more quickly because they are using more  calories to produce milk.

For the establishment, some of the positive effects are:

  • Less absenteeism among workers
  • High employee productivity
  • Greater company loyalty
  • High employee morale
  • Improved ability to attract and retain valuable employees
  • Family-friendly image in the community

WHAT THE MANAGEMENT CAN DO  

(MINIMUM  REQUIREMENTS  FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF LACTATION  STATIONS)

Three (3) simple steps to implement lactation support include the provision of the following:

TIME

  • Flexible working hours
  • Compensable lactation breaks for expression of breast milk in addition to regular time-off for meals

SPACE

  • Small refrigerator or appropriate cooling facilities for storage of expressed breast milk
  • Sink with running water
  • Electrical outlets for breast pumps
  • Small locker to store equipment
  • Small table and comfortable seats

SUPPORT

  • Have a written policy (click to download sample)
  • Designate a staff member to implement, monitor and evaluate the policy
  • Ensure that staff are supportive of breastfeeding mothers
  • Ensure behavior change by providing breastfeeding mothers the following:
    • ante natal breastfeeding orientation sessions/counseling
    • post natal follow-up 
  • Provision of IEC materials regarding lactation management, maternal nutrition and proper nourishment
  • Conduct a weaning survey: when the mother has finished breastfeeding,  get her to fill out a survey about what was helpful and what could have made things easier. Similarly, a survey with the rest of the staff about how they felt should also be conducted.

Does supporting breastfeeding or breastmilk expression in the workplace assist or hinder their work and in what way? This will help in making improvements or coming out with best practices in the workplace.

Suggested steps to set-up and implement the workplace lactation station

  • Conduct meetings with the Family Welfare Committee or any plant-level body or structure with workers and management representatives
  • Determine if there is need among the workers
  • Agree on the policy to be implemented
  • Enlist the help of experts in the area of breastfeeding or breastmilk expression, nutritional needs

WHAT IS A WRITTEN POLICY?  

Here’s a sample written policy which the establishment may adopt according to their specific needs and agreements.

Download Here

Information for this material are adapted from various sources such as :

www.lalecheleague.org

www.womenshealth.org;

breastfeeding policy of Meritlux Industries, Phils. Inc. (Sta Rosa, Laguna);

Family Planning Saves Lives, 4th edition (c) 2009  Population Reference Bureau.

Download Magna Carta of Women w/ IRR

Lactation station is one of the low-cost family-friendly facilities an employer can put up at the workplace for the benefit of employees. Anything a company can do to add benefits to an employee’s working life helps to attract  people and retain people. Breastfeeding mothers who wish to continue breastfeeding their children after they resume their work have special needs. A lactation station provides safe and healthful working conditions for women workers taking into account their maternal functions, thus, promoting the constitutional provision of providing facilities and opportunities to enhance their potential in the service of the nation. A recently passed law, Republic Act 10028 or the “Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009” which amended RA 7600 or the “Rooming-in and Breastfeeding Act of 1992,” adopts a national policy to encourage, protect and  support thePrivate clean space to express milk (but not to be located in the toilet and free from contaminants or hazardous substances)

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