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 CHICAGO, Aug. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- In celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, UNICEF (the United Nation's Children's Fund) will recognize Amoco Corporation (NYSE: AN) for providing a highly developed breastfeeding support program that makes good financial sense for the company and contributes to healthier babies and increases staff productivity.
 Linda Robison, president of the U.S. Committee for UNICEF/Chicago will present the tribute at a special ceremony Aug. 6 at Amoco's headquarters. Amoco is one of several businesses around the U.S. that UNICEF is recognizing.
 "Amoco is proud to offer a program which allows women to balance their roles as mothers and working professionals," says Wally Quanstrom, vice president of Environment, Health & Safety for Amoco Corporation. "By providing a range of support facilities, we have a means to reduce temporary help and company medical costs, plus we have ensured a healthier start on life for our employees' children."
 This year marks the second annual World Breastfeeding Week, an advocacy campaign designed to raise awareness about the importance of breastfeeding. Studies show that babies breastfed for six months have lower incidences of crib death (SIDS), allergies, infections, diabetes, and asthma. Formula-fed babies in the U.S. are hospitalized an average of four times more often than breastfed babies. Diarrheal disease, which kills 500 U.S. babies a year, results in 200,000 pediatric hospitalizations to the tune of $0.5 billion; most of which could be prevented almost entirely were the children breastfed.
 Despite the unparalleled health and emotional benefits of breastfeeding, many working mothers are discouraged from nursing. "Women who wish to return to work shouldn't have to choose between their babies' health and employment," says Karen Kancius, Director of the U.S. Committee for UNICEF/Chicago. "Companies like Amoco are therefore among the precious few who insist that it is not only possible, but practical and economical for women to breastfeed at work."
 Dr. Cynthia Mandredi, chief physician at the Amoco Research Center in Naperville, Ill., founded the breastfeeding program after poor experiences as a nursing mother while doing her residency at a local hospital. "It was quite a frustrating experience. I was using bathroom stalls and unlocked storage closets to express my milk," Manfredi said. "Given the benefits of breastfeeding, I was inspired to work with Amoco to institute programs for other working mothers to more easily continue breastfeeding their children."
 The numbers have shown that breastfeeding programs such as Amoco's mother-friendly practices directly contribute to decreased absenteeism and increased employee morale. In general, a company saves an average of $360 a day in temporary help costs, plus what may be thousands of dollars in hospital expenses -- considering only 2 percent of breastfed babies are hospitalized, compared to 8 percent of formula-fed infants. In addition, mothers who work in companies with support programs return from maternity leave up to 33 percent earlier, and are less likely to miss work to care for a sick child.
 Amoco now provides a private, comfortable room for mothers to express milk, plus a pump and separate refrigerator for storage of breastmilk. Prenatal classes and lactation consultants also are available to nursing mothers.
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 /CONTACT: Mary Milnamow of Amoco, 312-856-6066, or Karen Kancius of UNICEF, 312-670-2379/

CO: Amoco Corporation ST: Illinois IN: OIL SU:

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 4, 1993

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