World Breastfeeding Week is August 1 - August 7
It is recommended by doctors that infants be breastfed shortly following birth and then exclusively for at least 6 months. Breastfed babies are healthier in infancy and throughout the rest of their lives with lower instances of allergies and obesity. For those women who choose to breastfeed exclusively, infants nurse every 2-3 hours for the first year of their life. So where does that leave working mothers?
In the past, we have discussed workplace lactation programs as a key ingredient to a working mother's success in continuing to breastfeed her infant once returning to work. A lactation program can be as simple as a place to express breast milk and acceptance by management of regular breaks. A mother working 8 hours a day, needs approximately three 15 minute breaks throughout the workday to express milk. Corporations can go further and provide working mothers with access to lactation consultants and subsidies for purchase of a hospital grade breast pump.
According to Medela, the benefits of a corporate lactation program to an employer include a 27% decrease in maternal days off to deal with infant or maternal illness. The benefits to mothers and her children include a myriad of health and psychological benefits. The maternal/child bond is enhanced. Breastfeeding mothers heal quicker from childbirth, are less likely to suffer postpartum depression. And the list goes on.
Celebrate World Breastfeeding Week by exploring the availability of corporate lactation programs at your company. Or let us know what experiences you have had as a breastfeeding, working mother.
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