SUPPORTING NURSING MOMS AT WORK

BREASTFEEDING IS PERSONAL AND MOTHERS MAY FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE DISCUSSING THEIR NEEDS. BY CREATING POLICIES IN LINE WITH THE LAWS, AND PROACTIVELY INFORMING EMPLOYEES THROUGH A PLATFORM LIKE POLICIES, BROCHURES, OR BREAK ROOM POSTERS, YOU OPEN THE DOOR TO HELP NURSING MOTHERS FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE IN THE WORKPLACE.

The Business Case for Breastfeeding

“A STUDY BY A MAJOR HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATION FOUND THAT INFANTS WHO WERE BREAST FED FOR A MINIMUM OF SIX MONTHS EXPERIENCED $1,435 LESS IN HEALTH CARE CLAIMS THAN FORMULA-FED INFANTS, AND A STUDY FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT LOS ANGELES SCHOOL OF NURSING FOUND THAT BREAST-FED BABIES HAVE 35 PERCENT FEWER ILLNESSES THAN FORMULA-FED BABIES, AND THEIR NURSING MOMS HAVE A CORRESPONDING 27 PERCENT LOWER ABSENCE RATE.”    -CALIFORNIA STATE ASSEMBLY CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 155--RELATIVE TO BREASTFEEDING.


Human Milk and Breastfeeding Benefits:

  • FOR INFANTS, IT DECREASES INCIDENCE, OR SEVERITY, OR BOTH OF:

    • DIARRHEA, LOWER RESPIRATORY INFECTION, BACTERIAL INFECTIONS SUCH AS MENINGITIS, AND URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS

  • FOR INFANTS, IT PROVIDES GREAT PROTECTION AGAINST:

    • SUDDEN INFANT DEATH SYNDROME (SIDS, CHROHN’S DISEASE, LYMPHOMA, ALLERGIC DISEASES AND OTHER CHRONIC DIGESTIVE DISEASES

  • FOR MOTHERS:

    • INCREASES LEVEL OF OXYTOCIN RESULTING BETTER POSTPARTUM RECOVERY INCLUDING WEIGHT LOSS, DELAYED RESUMPTION OF OVULATION WITH INCREASED CHILD SPACING

    • BONE REMINERALIZATION WITH REDUCTION IN HIP FRACTURES LATER IN LIFE, REDUCED RISK OF OVARIAN AND BREAST CANCER, REDUCED HOUSEHOLD EXPENSES (FORMULA COSTS ABOUT $1,100 FOR THE FIRST YEAR AFTER BIRTH)

  • EMPLOYERS GAIN:

    • REDUCED HEALTH CARE COSTS, REDUCED EMPLOYEE ABSENTEEISM ATTRIBUTABLE TO CHILD ILLNESS, BETTER MORALE

    • EMPLOYEES MORE LIKELY TO RETURN TO WORK EARLIER FROM MATERNITY LEAVE IF THEY DO NOT FORESEE COMPLICATIONS WITH CONTINUING TO BREASTFEED

 

Removing Barriers

TO ACHIEVE THESE BENEFITS FOR YOURSELF, MOTHERS, AND THEIR CHILDREN, FOCUS ON REMOVING OBSTACLES SUCH AS:

  • ADEQUATE SPACE TO BREAST FEED OR EXPRESS MILK

  • TIME TO EXPRESS MILK

  • CONSTRAINTS WITH WORK HOURS OR BREAK TIMES

  • A PLACE TO STORE MILK

  • COMPANY CULTURE AND ATTITUDE TOWARD THESE ACTIVITIES

 

Checklist for Employers

  • UNDERSTAND THE FEDERAL AND STATE LAW REQUIREMENTS

  • WORK WITH APPROPRIATE PARTIES IN YOUR ORGANIZATION TO DEDICATE A PLACE FOR NURSING MOTHERS

  • WRITE A POLICY IN ALIGNMENT WITH FEDERAL AND STATE LAW REQUIREMENTS AND DISTRIBUTE TO EMPLOYEES

  • TRAIN SUPERVISORS AND EMPLOYEES REPEATING AS NEEDED (MOST SUPERVISORS AND EMPLOYEES FORGET BECAUSE IT’S USUALLY NOT A REGULAR WORKPLACE EVENT)

  • CONTACT YOUR LOCAL BREASTFEEDING COALITION IF YOU NEED HELP! WE WANT YOU TO SUCCEED AND YOUR EMPLOYEES TO SUCCEED AT BREASTFEEDING EVEN AFTER RETURNING TO WORK.


DO YOU NEED HELP IN YOUR WORKPLACE?  WE ARE HERE TO SUPPORT EMPLOYEES AND EMPLOYERS WITH IMPROVING WORKPLACE ACCOMMODATIONS. CONTACT US FOR FREE CONSULTATIONS AT

CENTRALCOASTBREASTFEEDING@HOTMAIL.COM


Facility Requirements

WHERE AN EMPLOYEE EXPRESSES BREASTMILK DOES NOT HAVE TO BE IN A BUILDING OR FACILITY, IT MUST SIMPLY BE A PLACE THAT IS:

  • NOT A BATHROOM

  • SHIELDED FROM VIEW

  • FREE FROM INTRUSION FROM COWORKERS AND THE PUBLIC

 

EMPLOYERS THAT HAVE UNIQUE WORK ENVIRONMENTS CAN STILL FIND CREATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR EMPLOYEES. WE RECOMMEND WOMENSHEALTH.GOV FOR SUGGESTIONS. 

SHOULD YOU WISH TO SUPPORT MOTHERS FURTHER, HERE ARE SOME GREAT IDEAS TO CONSIDER FOR YOUR LACTATION SPACE:

  • A DEDICATED LACTATION ROOM IF FACILITIES ALLOW FOR IT. THIS SENDS THE MESSAGE THAT BREASTFEEDING IS SUPPORTED IN THE WORKPLACE EVEN IF IT’S NOT ALWAYS NEEDED. MANY NURSING MOTHERS SIMPLY DON’T SPEAK UP TO EMPLOYERS OUT OF FEAR FOR NEEDING ACCOMODATIONS, OR LACK OF EDUCATION SURROUNDING THE LAWS REQUIREMENT FOR WORKPLACE SUPPORT. 

  • A WRITTEN POLICY ON HOW YOUR COMPANY FOLLOWS THE LAW FOR BREASTFEEDING AND ADDITIONAL PROVISIONS YOUR COMPANY MAY ALLOW BEYOND THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENT. A WRITTEN POLICY HELPS EDUCATE EMPLOYEES AND SUPERVISORS SO YOU DON’T INADVERTANTLY “BREAK THE LAW” WHEN IT COMES TO BREASTFEEDING IN THE WORKPLACE. IT ALSO HELPS NORMALIZE BREASTFEEDING SO THAT IT’S VIEWED MORE POSITIVELY IN THE WORKPLACE.  SEE TIPS FOR WRITING A POLICY.

  • PROVIDE TRAINING TO EMPLOYEES WHO YOU KNOW WILL BE HAVING A CHILD SO THEY KNOW WHAT THEIR RIGHTS ARE AND THAT YOU SUPPORT THEIR CHOICE TO BREASTFEED. DON’T EXCLUDE FATHERS – BREASTFEEDING IS OFTEN A FAMILY DECISION. HELPING FATHERS TO UNDERSTAND WHAT A MOTHERS’ RIGHTS ARE IN THE WORKPLACE CAN HELP HIM EMPOWER HIS PARTNER SHOULD SHE ENCOUNTER BARRIERS IN HER WORKPLACE.

  • A DIAPER CHANGING TABLE. MOTHERS MAY WISH TO HAVE A CARETAKER BRING THEIR BABY TO THEM TO NURSE RATHER THAN PUMP. A DIAPER CHANGING TABLE IS HELPFUL FOR THESE SITUATIONS.

  • A DOUBLE ELECTRIC HOSPITAL GRADE PUMP. WHILE EXPENSIVE UPFRONT, HOSPITAL GRADE PUMPS EXPRESS MILK MORE EFFICIENTLY THAN PERSONAL PUMPS WHICH CAN HELP SHORTEN PUMPING TIMES. ADDITIONALLY, IT CAN HELP INCREASE AND MAINTAIN A MOTHERS’ MILK SUPPLY AND AVOID THE NEED FOR FORMULA SUPPLEMENTATION WHICH CAN OFTEN BE A SOURCE OF STRESS FOR WORKING MOTHERS.

  • COMFORTABLE SEATING. CONSIDER CUSHIONED ROCKERS THAT CAN ALSO BE USED FOR NURSING A CHILD. 

  • WHITE NOISE MACHINES. WHITE NOISE, BUBBLING BROOKS, NATURE SOUNDS, ETC. CAN HELP DROWN OUT NOISE OUTSIDE THE ROOM AND HELP WOMEN RELAX, WHICH WILL IMPROVE THE LET DOWN REFLEX AND ENABLE THEM TO PUMP MORE QUICKLY. 

  • A MIRROR AND CLOTHING HOOK ARE NICE AMMENITIES FOR MOTHERS TO HANG UP SHIRTS AND BRAS WHILE PUMPING AND CHECK THEMSELVES ON THE WAY OUT. 

  • EMERGENCY PUMP PARTS SUCH AS FILTERS, TUBING, COLLECTION BOTTLES, MEMBRANES, ETC.  IF YOU ARE PROVIDING A HOSPITAL GRADE PUMP, PROVIDING EXTRA PARTS FOR THAT PUMP AND MILK COLLECTION TO MOTHERS CAN BE REALLY HELPFUL IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT ONE OF THEIR PARTS IS FORGOTTON AT HOME OR BREAKS. 

  • REFRIGERATOR IN THE ROOM. MOTHERS AND OTHER EMPLOYEES MAY FEEL WEIRD STORING BREAST MILK IN COMMUAL BREAK ROOM REFRIGERATORS. A SMALL AFFORADABLE REFRIGERATOR LIKE THOSE USED FOR DORM ROOMS AND SMALL OFFICES CAN BE KEPT IN THE ROOM FOR A MOTHER.

  • HAND SANITIZER, WIPES, TOWELS, AND KLEENEX. ITEMS TYPICALLY FOUND IN THE OFFICE ENVIRONMENT ARE ALSO HELPFUL IN THE LACTATION ROOM.

  • CLOSE ACCESS TO SINKS. BEFORE PUMPING A MOTHER WILL NEED TO WASH OR SANITIZE HANDS AND AFTER PUMPING WILL NEED TO CLEAN PUMP PARTS. CLOSE ACCESS TO A SINK WITH SOAP AND WATER CAN HELP HER FINISH UP MORE QUICKLY.