Carlton County has received a Breastfeeding Friendly Health Department Award from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) for its contributions to the health of mothers and their babies. The designation acknowledges a county health department’s commitment to acting as a model for the community by supporting healthy families and receiving the business benefits of supporting nursing mothers. The county was recognized at the gold level.

MDH recognizes county health departments, workplaces, maternity centers and child care facilities that have demonstrated their commitment to supporting breastfeeding mothers by creating a workplace lactation support program. Breastfeeding is a foundational way to ensure that babies receive optimal nutrition during the first formative years of life. Studies show that infants who are breastfed have better health outcomes as they grow.

“This award recognizes our efforts to promote and support breastfeeding women in Carlton County, and shows the partnership between Public Health and local businesses who also want to provide a safe and comfortable place for women to breastfeed,” said Jenny Barta, Women, Infants and Children (WIC) coordinator and WIC peer breastfeeding coordinator. “Carlton County Public Health hopes to continue these relationships with businesses and families, and to provide more outreach and support in the future.”

Awards are designated at gold, silver and bronze levels, which correspond to the number of steps an organization met in a 10-step process. MDH’s Breastfeeding Friendly recognition program is supported by the state WIC program and the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP).

To learn more about the county’s efforts to support breastfeeding mothers, call 218-879-4511 or visit