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Press Release


Media Contact: Cheryl Monkhouse
404-842-8516
cheryl.monkhouse@wellpoint.com

 

Happy Mother's Day…Now Get To Work…

ATLANTA (May 6, 2009) -- The birth of a new child can be the most joyous moment in a mother's life, but it can also bring stress, concern and financial strife. The choice to stay at home, to return to work, or begin working, is not a decision that is easily made for many.

With Mother's Day just around the corner, it's more than traditional stay-at-home moms who deserve recognition. With today's economy, Working Mothers are bringing in some (or all) of their household's income and are oftentimes overlooked by society and their employers for their contributions. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGA) celebrates working moms with its Mothers at Work program, helping them make the transition back into the workforce as smooth and stress-free as possible.

The Mothers at Work program helps new mothers through pregnancy and with their transition back to work by offering free educational guides, counseling and online articles that assist with breastfeeding, baby's first weeks, nutrition, child care and parenting, and returning to work. It also provides many breastfeeding benefits including, free breastfeeding consultations and a free kit loaded with breastfeeding goodies, as well as deep discounts on breast pumps, thanks to a subsidy from WellPoint, BCBSGA's parent corporation.

There is no cost to associates who take advantage of the Mothers at Work program and all BCBSGA employees (male & female) are eligible.

The BCBSGA office provides a locking nursing room and refrigeration for breast milk storage. The health insurer understands the importance of breastfeeding and that breast-fed babies have fewer illnesses because human milk transfers to the infant a mother's antibodies to disease.

Breast-feeding is good for new mothers as well as for their babies and is economical as there are no bottles to sterilize and no formula to buy, measure and mix. It may also be easier for a nursing mother to lose the pounds of pregnancy as well, since nursing uses up extra calories while providing the best nourishment possible.

The benefits to the employer include:

  • Reduced staff turnover and loss of skilled workers after the birth of a child
  • Reduced sick time/personal leave for breastfeeding women and their partners because their infants are more resistant to illness
  • Lower health care costs associated with healthier, breastfed infants - Total medical care costs for the nation are lower for fully breastfed infants than never-breastfed infants since breastfed infants typically need fewer sick care visits, prescriptions, and hospitalizations.
  • Higher job productivity, employee satisfaction and morale
  • Added recruitment incentive for women
  • Enhanced reputation as a company concerned for the welfare of its employees and their families

Children benefit from:

  • Higher IQ scores and better school performance from increased cognitive development
  • Decreased risk of obesity later in life
  • Reduced risk of sudden death syndrome (crib death), childhood cancers, juvenile onset diabetes, ulcerative colitis, Hodgkin's disease and other chronic digestive diseases
  • Decreased incidence and severity of allergies
  • Enhanced visual, motor, and oral development
  • Premature babies do better when breastfed compared to those who are formula fed.

Women benefit from:

  • Reduced risk of breast, ovarian and uterine cancer, as well as osteoporosis
  • Faster recovery after childbirth due to decreased postpartum bleeding, increased uterine involution, less postpartum depression, and faster return to pre-pregnancy weight
  • Highly effective, free birth control with exclusive breastfeeding for up to the first 6 months.

In addition, breastfeeding is better for the environment because there is less trash and plastic waste compared to that produced by formula cans and bottle supplies.


About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc. and Blue Cross and Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association® . The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia is available at www.bcbsga.com.

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