PS30 - Evaluating the Breastfeeding Accommodations of Local Businesses in Crow Wing County, Minnesota

Poster Presenter:
Danielle Aase, Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP) / University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, MN
[email protected]

Additional researcher (not presenting): Kalsey Stults, Community Health and Wellness Specialist, Essentia Health








The objectives of this project were to survey local businesses to assess breastfeeding accommodations and interest in improving them, to meet with local businesses to determine what barriers they face in improving their breastfeeding accommodations, and to provide educational resources on breastfeeding to local businesses.

Approximately 219 local businesses in Crow Wing County, Minnesota with a demonstrated interest in workplace wellness were contacted to complete an online survey regarding breastfeeding accommodations. Meetings with interested businesses were conducted to further discuss breastfeeding accommodations. Areas of need and barriers were identified from the survey and the meetings with businesses. Recommendations on interventions to help businesses improve their breastfeeding accommodations were developed based on these areas of need and barriers.

Almost all businesses (93.3%) reported having at least one breastfeeding accommodation. In addition, almost all businesses (93.3%) reported that they accommodate breaks to express breastmilk. However, only 33.3% reported having a written breastfeeding policy and 73.3% reported having a space for lactation (56.7% reported a designated space). Of existing lactation spaces in the community, 90.5% are private with a locking door and 100% have access to an electrical outlet. The most reported barrier to providing breastfeeding accommodations was the lack of physical space.

Most of the surveyed local businesses have at least one breastfeeding accommodation. Existing lactation spaces in the community have most of the
necessary features of a designated lactation space as defined by the Minnesota Department of Health. Implementing targeted interventions to assist businesses with creating a written breastfeeding policy and a designated lactation space would be ideal first steps to improving the support of breastfeeding employees in the community. Resources already exist in the community that address local businesses’ needs and barriers with regards to breastfeeding accommodations.

Links to resources provided to businesses during our meetings: Sample written policy: Employee’s Guide to Breastfeeding and Working:
Crow Wing County WIC Clinic: Communication Tools:
MDH Criteria for Recognition as a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace:
Crow Wing Energized grants:
Minnesota statute:
United States Department of Labor:
Crow Wing Energized Workplace Wellness group:
Lakes Area Human Resource Association (LAHRA): Business Case for Breastfeeding: location for breaks: