The Franklin County government is a friend of nursing mothers, according to a state advocacy group.

The Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition recently awarded Franklin County with the Gold Level “Breastfeeding Employees Support Award,” as a part of the coalition’s “Business Case for Breastfeeding” program.

“The award is based on proven and established standards to benefit employers and employees,” a release from the organization said. “It recognizes businesses that provide support services to their breastfeeding employees, to include education as well as the time and space for employees to nurse and/or pump breastmilk at their workplace.”

The award, the top ranking of three sponsored by the Coalition, was presented by Brenda Bandy, executive director of the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition.

Franklin County received the award for achieving a high level of support to their employees as outlined in the Coalition’s criteria, according to Bandy. She said the county provides a “gold level” pumping room, allow flexible time to pump, and have a written policy of breastfeeding support.

Pointing out that many breastfeeding mothers abandon breastfeeding when they return to work because they lack the support and appropriate facilities at their place of employment, Bandy said, “We want to help change that unfortunate situation.”

Employers that have established support services for breastfeeding employees have reported a return of $3 for every $1 investment, plus realizing a more productive working environment, the release said.