Businesses Around Metro Now Offering Breastfeeding Rooms
There's more than 40 infant friendly businesses and organizations around town that support breastfeeding moms
FARGO, N.D. — When a new mother returns to work from maternity leave, she’ll likely have a place of her own to breastfeed.
It’s all part of an initiative by Fargo Cass Public Health to get more workplaces in the community to support new mothers.
Kate Bjorklund is a mother of two children and she has breastfed both of them.
When she’s not breastfeeding, she has to pump in cars, churches, airports or bathrooms.
“You name it, I’ve probably pumped there,” Bjorklund said.
But every time she has to pump, Bjorklund says she has a lot on her mind.
“Will there be a bathroom? And if there is a bathroom, is it going to have a plug in so I can actually plug my pump in? Are people going to walk in? Is my shirt long enough where it’ll be discrete enough in the bathroom? Are people going to ask me questions,” Bjorklund said.
The one place Bjorklund doesn’t have to worry about all that is where she works: Discovery Benefits.
The insurance agency is one of more than 40 businesses and organizations across the metro that has added a breastfeeding room in its workplace.
“Having a safe and comfortable place to pump, for a new mom, is so huge and it relieves so much anxiety and stress,” Bjorklund said.
Another business that has added a breastfeeding room includes Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Floor and Home in Fargo.
But it’s not just the businesses’ staff that utilizes the room.
“Lots of young mothers are building homes in Fargo–Moorhead and so we’ve actually utilized that space not only just for our staff, but for our clients as well,” said Rebecca Knutson, a new mother and interior designer and decorator at Floor to Ceiling Carpet One Floor and Home.
To make the transition back to work easier for new mothers, these rooms include a sink, fridge and a lock for privacy.
Employees at Fargo Cass Public Health say bathrooms are not enough, and the breastfeeding rooms help to show what it really means to support the needs of a new mother.
“It’s kind of nice to get the conversation started or get the word out there about breastfeeding support programs and what businesses and moms can do to be able to have a successful journey with breastfeeding,” said Michelle Draxten, breastfeeding counselor at Fargo Cass Public Health.
Almost 80 percent of North Dakota women return to work after having a child.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends those mothers at least breastfeed their child until he or she turns one.