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Texas Mother-Friendly Worksite Program

Resources Required

Staff:  This includes an estimate of the number and types of staff necessary to implement the intervention. 

State level: In Texas, the Mother-Friendly Worksite Program is housed in the Office of Title V and Family Health and is coordinated by the State Women’s and Perinatal Health Nurse Consultant/Coordinator, who also holds the title of State Breastfeeding Coordinator. While all WIC state agencies are required to designate a WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator to oversee breastfeeding promotion and support within the WIC program, few states also have the distinct role of a State Breastfeeding Coordinator to oversee statewide cross-program coordination. Based on the Texas experience, at least 0.5 FTE is recommended to oversee implementation and maintenance of an existing program like the MFWP. To start a new program or increase capacity of an existing program, significantly more human resources would be necessary, which could come from in-kind or unpaid help such as MPH/MPA interns, volunteers, and/or staff from other departments working on similar sorts of initiatives.

Worksite level: Staffing at the worksite level develop and implement the policy/support program. Ideally, worksites would incorporate program coordinator duties into an existing job description/staff position to establish a dedicated, sustainable point of contact for the program. Worksite staff form the planning committee and serve as champions and advocates; this can be done by a volunteer or another staff person having this as “other assigned duties” or by an official position within the worksite such as Human Resources, wellness coordinator, or facilities manager.

Materials: The state coordinating agency uses training, technical assistance, implementation and marketing materials developed and distributed to key stakeholders, including:

  • Turn-key print and online toolkits, including “Build Your Program” Toolkit for employers and the Outreach Partner Toolkit (see www.TexasMotherFriendly.org)
  • Employer designation “welcome pack” materials (provided in Intervention Materials section below)
  • Educational and communication materials for working mothers to promote the program to their employers; and
  • Outreach and marketing materials.

At the worksite level, the basic required material resources include:

  • a small hygienic non-bathroom space that is adequately outfitted to ensure privacy,
  • a comfortable chair,
  • a clean work surface (desk, table or shelf),
  • an electrical outlet,
  • access to a nearby safe water source (often an existing sink in a break room or restroom, but may be a dedicated sink within the lactation space), and
  • access to hygienic milk storage options (mom’s-own or employer-provided cooler with icepack, shared refrigerator space, such as in an employee break room, or a dedicated lactation room refrigerator).

The employer may also provide amenities such as a high efficiency multi-user breast pump, lactation education/support services and materials, and promotional materials.

Other Costs: Potential costs for the worksite may relate to: modifying existing space/ creating new space for mothers to breastfeed/express milk; purchasing supplies and equipment, maintaining cleanliness and functionality of the space; coordination, monitoring and assessment of worksite breastfeeding lactation activities; and printing and distributing educational/ promotional materials. Research demonstrates that employers can experience a $3 return on investment for every $1 dollar invested in worksite lactation support. Savings are realized through lower absenteeism, turnover rates, and health care costs.