Create a breastfeeding-friendly work culture

Category: Breastfeeding, Employer, Pregnancy, Pump, Mamas working
September 13, 2022

Whether you’re an employer looking to promote a work culture, or a breastfeeding parent hoping to gain more employer support, this is the resource you need. so you have ways to encourage and implement a breastfeeding-friendly work environment.

The numbers

Breastfeeding has lifelong benefits for both mother and baby. It also brings huge benefits to employers and the economy. Here are a few numbers that help put this into perspective.

  • 94.2% employee retention rate for employers with breastfeeding support programs (compared to the national average of 59%)first
  • 77% reduction in absenteeism at work when lactation support programs are in place2
  • Annual savings of 13 billion dollars for the health care system and taxpayers when 90% of families exclusively breastfeed for six months3

Despite these numbers:

  • 66% of breastfeeding parents have had problems pumping at work4
  • 53% reduced hours or workload without being asked4
  • 43% of women leave the workforce within three months of giving birth4

All is not hopeless. More and more employers are looking to support their employees with breastfeeding and pumping. More and more parents are demanding the right to breastfeed. Many organizations are advocating for a work culture that supports employees, parents, and nursing infants.

For recruiters

Acleron's Breastfeeding Room
Acellon staff breastfeeding room

If you’re an employer looking to create a breastfeeding-friendly workplace, here are some steps you can take.

  • Set up a nursing room. The “Breastfeeding Mothers Respite” Act requires employers that comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to provide a separate space other than the bathroom to pump. safely and effectively such as sinks, refrigerators and comfortable seats.
  • Implement a program to support lactation. This can be done in a number of ways. Multi-user breast pumps can be provided in lactation rooms to minimize the supply of pumps that parents need to carry. Essential items for breastfeeding such as breast milk storage bag, Super small steam bag, cleanand Breastfeeding pads for women can be kept on hand for employees. There is always a supply of snacks (lactation boosters and healthy options) available for pumping parents. Acellon’s [email protected] The program has a variety of ways to help you support breastfeeding parents.
  • Make breastfeeding more accessible with policies. By offering paid maternity leave and having a flexible work schedule or work-from-home policy, pumping can be more easily achieved and parents can meet and exceed their baby goals. their suckling.
  • Get everyone on board. Creating a culture means everyone has the same mindset. Have new parent support groups, provide a return-to-work check-in system to prepare parents and administrators before leaving and upon returning, and ensure that all staff are supporting parents when they return to work.

For staff

Women talking in the office

A little prep before maternity leave and some sharing of resources can help pave the way for a successful return to work and pumping journey.

  • Prepare before you go on vacation. Talk to your boss or human resources department about Pumping plan at work. Find out what pump schedules might be like, what kind of flexible or workplace policies are available to support you, and where you’ll be pumping at work.
  • Provide resources. Many employers want to support their employees with breastfeeding but don’t know where to start. Share this Resource page from CDC and Office of Women’s Health with your employer to help them understand how they can make meaningful changes.
  • Refer them to a breastfeeding support program. Make it easy for your employer to support you by referring them to a program like [email protected] so they can help provide the essential pumping supplies you need throughout your journey.

In general, employers and employees can develop a plan that proves to be beneficial for everyone: the baby, the parents, the family, and the employer.

For a little more help, see these Top tips for pumping at work that can make your pumping experience as smooth as possible.

  1. American Breastfeeding Commission Workplace Support and Protection of Breastfeeding, Washington, DC (2010).
  2. Bartick M, Reinhold A. The burden of suboptimal breastfeeding in the United States: a pediatric cost analysis. Department of Pediatrics. 2010; 125 (5): e1048-e2015.
  3. Ortiz, J, McGilligan K. & Kelly P. (2004).
  4. Carter, Christine Michel. Breastfeeding in the Workplace Benefits for Mother, Baby and Employers. Forbes. (2019)


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