Today, women with children are the fastest-growing segment of the workforce. Nearly 55% of women with children under the age of 3 are employed. In the United States, more than 70% of mothers today choose to breastfeed their babies.
But unfortunately, 43% of women leave the workforce within three months of childbirth. Why?
Many new moms who are breastfeeding their babies feel they’re not getting enough support when they return to work. As a result, they are unable to meet their breast milk feeding goals and leave their jobs after giving birth.
That is because many working moms (66%) have experienced frustration/embarrassment at work because of their need to pump or breastfeed. For instance, having someone walk in on them, experiencing someone making a rude comment, or being asked to pump or breastfeed elsewhere, according to the Byram Healthcare survey.
Most importantly, employees of companies with lactation support programs have seen a 94.2% retention rate (in comparison to the 59% national average).
Furthermore, employees whose companies provide breastfeeding support consistently report
- improved morale,
- better satisfaction with their jobs,
- and higher productivity.
Sometimes, employers miss the impact of breastfeeding mothers in the workplace and on America’s healthcare system. Besides, breast milk saves health systems and taxpayers over $1.6 million annually.
According to Medela, breast milk reduces the risks of four of the most common and costly childhood conditions in the first year of life. Reducing these costs not only benefit the parents but also the employer.
Disposable medical supplies provider Byram Healthcare commissioned a survey of working mothers who have recently or are currently breastfeeding.
The survey also debunked the myth of what most mothers do while pumping at work. It is not downtime for most working moms, rather 55% have checked work emails, and 52% even conducted a conference call.
All of these factors have increased the number of breastfeeding startups and non-profit organizations committed to supporting breastfeeding at work. Likewise, these are not only for the working mother but the employer as well.
Organizations that support parents
Primarily, they provide a niche service for working parents who desire to be closer to their children. Especially, breastfeeding mothers can meet personal and professional goals without sacrificing time or productivity.
It is a community-driven breastfeeding and postpartum health platform. Founder Amy VanHaren. That is, to help support, retain and recruit breastfeeding employees, enabling parents to work, nurse, and flourish.
A breastfeeding assistance company owned by Kate and Max Spivak. Breastfeeding assistance system that helps promote milk production and also helps babies latch to the breast.
Executive Vice President, Americas for Medela Melissa Gonzales discusses their program and the importance of continuing to provide breast milk for as long as a working mom chooses.
“Through New Moms Healthy Returns, we help employers support new moms returning to work with a turnkey solution that makes it easy to do the right thing for their employees and their business. It is our intention that by making it easy for employers to support their employees’ growing families, moms, babies, and companies will benefit.”
In addition, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has created a Healthy People 2020 Breastfeeding Objective.
Natalie Basham, talent Management Strategist and Managing Partner at InspirED Solutions. Also, she argues that the workplace has one of the greatest influences on an individual capacity to live a healthy and thriving life.
They partner with organizations to offer tangible support to new parents returning from parental leave. Sara Lewis, Founder, and CEO believes
“Employers have remained largely uninvolved in providing tangible, effective solutions to support new moms transitioning back into the workplace. The way we work continues to evolve. Isn’t it about time the way we return to work does, too?”