Data shows that 90% of Utah women breastfeed their newborns. However, many women have to stop or reduce breastfeeding because they are separated from their babies when they return to work. The Affordable Care Act requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations for breastfeeding mothers, including reasonable break time and a clean private space to feed her infant or to express milk.
However, many businesses have struggled to comply with these regulations due to financial or other constraints. This prompted The Utah Department of Health’s Healthy Environment Active Living program to provide mini-grants to eligible businesses to assist with this process.
The HEAL program is a UDOH initiative that aims to create community-clinical linkages and improve education, policy, built environment, and access to quality care. The mini-grant program was created in hopes that businesses will use any funds awarded to establish or enhance lactation accommodations in their worksites.
Utah businesses of any size and number of employees are eligible to apply for funds between $500 – $2,500. The grant may be used to provide a private room for nursing mothers or making an existing room more comfortable for use with added furniture or decor. The funds may also be used to provide educational materials and resources about breastfeeding to employees.