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College Workplace is Friendly to Little Ones
30 September 2004
by Wanda Agnew

BISMARCK, ND - Little people are accompanying their mothers to work at United Tribes Technical College. Those fresh, new faces - newborns of college staff members - are appearing at work more frequently following a new "Family Friendly" policy signed by UTTC President David M. Gipp.

Pebbles Red Fox and son Roman
Pebbles Red Fox says she very much appreciates the new policy and thanked Dr. Gipp for making it possible for her to bring her baby, Roman, to work.

      At least five infants have accompanied their mothers to the office. Among the first to take advantage of the policy earlier this year were Kim Hinnenkamp, Jesi Silbernagel and Shannon Medicine Horse.

      More recently, Sheyenne Haase and her daughter Asha Shanti Haase, born June 11, have come to work together, and Pebbles Red Fox and her son Roman Lawrence Whitehorn, born July 11. Both have found the policy fits nicely with their work duties. Sheyenne works in Student and Campus Services and Pebbles in Human Resources.

      Breastfeeding infants up to age six months are allowed to accompany their mothers to work. The September 2003 policy emphasizes the nutritional importance and health benefits of mother's milk. The policy was part of the nutrition education strategic plan of the college extension programs.

Sheyenne Haase and daughter Asha
Sheyenne Haase believes bringing her baby, Asha, to work was the main reason she was able to continue providing her baby the best nutrition possible.

      Only about 38 percent of Native American children in North Dakota are breastfed. One cause for this low rate is that more mothers are entering the workforce or attending college.

      Research shows one of the benefits to the employer are fewer sick days from the employee. Benefits to the employee are the big savings due to no childcare and formula expenses. Most important is the ability of mom to bond with baby during those formative months.

      Staff members are applauding the so-called "Baby to work" and "Breastfeeding" policy as essential to a "family friendly," campus wellness program.


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