Breast is best

Not only does Clark County encourage new moms to breast-feed, the county supports employees who continue to nurse after returning to work.

This week, the county’s Public Health department accepted a 2011 Outstanding Employer Award from the Washington State Breastfeeding Coalition.

The coalition (which disagrees with my Associated Press stylebook, which insists on a hyphen and lists the words as “breast-feed, breast-feeding, breast-fed”) credited the county for a policy that supports nursing mothers in all county government offices.

Public Health Program Manager Tricia Mortell said the county always had an informal policy of accommodating new moms, but county commissioners, in their role as the Board of Health, approved a formal policy in January 2010.

Public Health staff members are working with local businesses to promote support for breast-feeding mothers and compliance with new federal regulations, Mortell said. The new laws require employers with 50 or more employees to give new mothers time and a private space to express breast milk until her child turns 1.

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