Grant Application

Dana Harvey, MPH, UPMC Presbyterian/Shadyside

Proposed Innovation

Breastfeeding provides numerous health benefits. It is the best source of nutrition for most infants and can reduce the risk of many illnesses in children and mothers. In fact, national guidelines recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life and continued breastfeeding for at least the first year.

At UPMC Presbyterian and UPMC Shadyside, new mothers on staff have struggled to return to their jobs — and continue breastfeeding — because pumping is a challenge at these locations. The campuses currently offer rooms with minimal comfort and privacy for mothers to pump. The goal of this project is to create more welcoming and comfortable lactation spaces that will encourage mothers to return to work, enhancing the overall quality of life for them and their babies.

Improvements in Action

Funds from this project will be used to redesign current lactation rooms to accommodate mothers who want to pump breast milk in a private setting designed solely for that purpose. The rooms will be equipped with hospital-grade lactation pumps and stocked with water, food, and other supplies. Educational materials also will be provided in partnership with UPMC Health Plan.

Intended Outcomes

Providing welcoming and specially equipped lactation rooms at UPMC Presbyterian and UPMC Shadyside is expected to encourage employees to return to work and continue breastfeeding. It also will help to improve the culture of maternal and child health at UPMC.