Breastfeeding Friendly Place Awards

Breastfeeding initiation rates have been slowly rising in the United States for several years; however, the duration of breastfeeding rates among older infants 6-12 months remains low. With support from employers and communities, the hope is that more infants will be exclusively breastfed for the first six months and continued breastfeeding with solid foods will occur for at least the first year of life. The longer a baby is breastfed, the greater the health benefits!

The Breastfeeding Friendly Place Awards recognize workplaces, public places, and other sites away from home that make an extra effort to accommodate breastfeeding mothers. It's given out annually by the Health Department's Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program.

The goal of the Breastfeeding Friendly Place Awards is to help foster a positive attitude about breastfeeding and encourage companies and civic leaders to provide a supportive environment that meets the needs of nursing mothers.

Nominate a Breastfeeding Friendly Place!
Nominations for 2024 should be placed by May 31, 2024. All submissions received after May 31, 2024 will be in consideration for awards in 2025.

For more information, please contact Madeleine Putzi MS, RDN, CLC at 412-350-4637.

2023 Breastfeeding Friendly Place Award Winners

AHN Wexford Hospital (2023 Workplace Winner)

The AHN Wexford Hospital offers break times for their employees to express milk in private rooms. These rooms have an electrical outlet for a breast pump, table, comfortable chair and offer a place where users can wash equipment. The hospital provides a freezer for milk storage. As a health care provider, AHN Wexford Hospital also makes its lactation staff available to support parents, as well as encouraged children to come during lunch breaks for feeding.

AHN Wexford Hospital staff
(Pictured, l. to r.: Sharon Leavitt, RN, BSN, Public Health Nurse for ACHD's FCH Program; Anna Abels, RN, IBCLC, WXH Lactation Consultant; Alycia Kerstetter, MSN, RNC-OB WXH, Nurse Manager Women and Infants Center; Michele Lannis, BSN, IBCLC, CBE, WXH Lactation Consultant)

Hello Neighbor (2023 Public Space Winner)

Hello Neighbor offers a calm, quiet space for all parents, visitors and employees, to nurse or express milk. Uniquely, the space dually serves as both a lactation and prayer room, with rugs and mats inside, to accommodate cultural norms for many of Pittsburgh’s immigrant communities. The space offers a side table, a dresser with lactation supplies (burping cloths, nipple cream, nursing pads), as well as local breastfeeding helplines and contacts, and pictures of common lactation holds and positioning.

Hello Neighbor staff
(Pictured, l. to rt.: Aya Atal, Smart Start & ICM Case Aide; Maria Camila Arbelaez Solano, Smart Start Case Manager; Abby Jo Perez, Refugee Health and Stabilization Supervisor; and Madeleine Putzi, MS, RD, CLC - ACHD WIC Breastfeeding and Nutrition Education Coordinator)

Wildman Chalmers Design (2023 Small Business Winner)

Wildman Chalmers Design offers a private space to express milk with access to an electrical unit, sink, chair and small sofa. Employees are provided a flexible schedule for lactation breaks and their breastfeeding policy is noted in their employee handout.

Wildman Chalmers Design staff
(Pictured, l. to r.: Chad Chalmers, Owner & Principal; Elizabeth Usnick, Associate Principal; and ACHD's Madeleine Putzi)

Honorable Mention

The University of Pittsburgh’s School of Nursing and the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh received honorable mentions.

2023 Press Release Announcing this Year's Winners(PDF, 459KB)

2022 Breastfeeding Friendly Place Award Winners

UPMC Baby Steps Maternity Program

The UPMC Baby Steps Maternity Program at the U.S. Steel Tower demonstrates compassion for both members and non-members by providing several designated private lactation rooms for employees to book sessions to pump upon their return to work. The program’s maternal health coaches provide education and support around the importance of breastfeeding. They also support the lactation center at UPMC Magee-Women's Hospital and help mothers select the right breast pump for them.

UPMC Baby Steps Maternity Program staff

Healthy Start

Healthy Start offers a comfortable, culturally relevant space for staff and visitors to pump breastmilk and feed their babies. The organization advocates on behalf of individuals who experience challenges in the workplace related to having adequate time for pumping. Healthy Start also offers educational classes and resources in the community.

Healthy Start staff

Carnegie Science Center

The Carnegie Science Center clearly cares about giving nursing mothers a comfortable space to express their breast milk. Mothers and families who have used its breastfeeding rooms remark that they are “well kept,” “clearly marked” and “spacious.” One of the rooms is near the toddler-aged activities area, which makes it easy for families with multiple children to divide and conquer without missing out on any of the fun.

Carnegie Science Center staff

Pittsburgh Botanic Garden

The Pittsburgh Botanic Garden provides breastfeeding mothers with a beautiful, clean indoor space at its Visitors Center that allows for pumping or nursing of babies without having to cut a visit to one of Pittsburgh’s most beautiful attractions short. In terms of breastfeeding, Pittsburgh Botanical Garden’s slogan of “Inspiring People to Grow” could not be more appropriate.

2022 Press Release Announcing this Year's Winners(PDF, 163KB)

2021 Breastfeeding Friendly Place Award Winners

RAND Corporation


The RAND Corporation is a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous. RAND — nonprofit, nonpartisan, and committed to the public interest — promotes a work environment where staff feel welcomed and respected and that supports its staffs’ work-life balance needs. To this end, RAND provides breastfeeding-friendly options in the workplace, including private health rooms for staff to express their milk, equipped with refrigerators for milk storage and a hospital-grade breast pump. In addition, RAND provides reimbursement of family costs incurred while traveling on business, including the shipping of breastmilk. Lastly, RAND offers health plans that provide support and education for lactating parents.

Duquesne Light Company


Duquesne Light Company is a next-generation electric utility that delivers reliable and safe energy to more than half a million customers in southwestern Pennsylvania. The company is also dedicated to fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace where all employees feel valued, respected and energized. One way they accomplish this is by offering separate lactation rooms at their downtown headquarters and locations in Woods Run and New Manchester. These rooms enable parents to express their milk in a safe and private space.

Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center (BluePearl Specialty + Emergency Pet Hospital)


Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center provides cutting edge healthcare. They use innovative procedures, high-tech equipment and the latest treatment methods to provide comprehensive medical care to pets. BluePearl recognizes that pets are part of the family. They honor the human-animal bond by providing the very best in advanced medical care for pets – including techniques that were once reserved exclusively for humans. They combine this expertise with a love for animals and the belief that kindness is the foundation of veterinary medicine. Their kindness is carried out all the way to their staff by providing nursing parents time breaks to express milk in private space. They have designated refrigerators for the storage of milk. BluePearl also complies with the state or local breastfeeding laws.

2020 Breastfeeding Friendly Place Award Winners

United Way of Southwestern PA

The United Way of Southwestern PA is a non-profit that focuses on solving community issues. Their mission is to improve lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities to advance the common good. This caring philosophy carries into their approach for staff to be able to return to work in a breastfeeding friendly environment. They do so by providing a comfortable and welcoming space for a breastfeeding mother to express milk at work if needed. A written policy is in place for all staff regarding breastfeeding and return to work. The entire staff is very supportive of the co-workers breastfeeding journeys.

2019 Breastfeeding Friendly Place Award Winners

2019 Workplace Honorees

Grow Pittsburgh

Grow Pittsburgh is an urban agriculture non-profit whose mission is to teach people how to grow food and promote the benefits that gardens bring to neighborhoods. This healthy philosophy carries into its approach for staff to be able to return to work in a breastfeeding friendly environment and does so by allowing nursing infants at work and providing a welcoming space for a mother to pump.

Adagio Health

Adagio Health provides health and wellness services and support throughout 23 counties in Western Pennsylvania. Most of the 100,000 patients and clients receiving services at Adagio Health are women who are uninsured and underinsured. As a women’s healthcare provider, it recognizes the importance for working mothers to be able to return to work and yet still be able to provide breastmilk for their infants.

Friendly Public Place Honoree

UPMC Passavant - McCandless

UPMC Passavant - McCandles is a community hospital north of Pittsburgh that strives to provide a friendly patient and family atmosphere. The hospital provides two lactation rooms in separate ends of the hospital for staff convenience. The rooms offer pumps for employees, patients and visitors to use as needed.