A Mother-friendly program benefits families, employees, your business, and your community.
Good For Babies and Mothers
There's no question that breastfed babies are healthier babies. Babies who are not breastfed are more likely to develop common childhood illnesses like diarrhea and ear infections and chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes, asthma, and childhood obesity. They are also at greater risk for rare but serious conditions such as severe lower respiratory infections, leukemia, necrotizing enterocolitis, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).5 Breastfeeding is also good for moms, lowering the risk for breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.6,7
Nursing mothers with Mother-Friendly employers are able to continue to provide their babies with breastmilk after returning to work, ensuring that they and their babies experience the full range of benefits that breastfeeding imparts.
Good For All Employees
Being Mother-Friendly can have a positive effect on the entire employee workforce. Businesses that proactively support breastfeeding see reduced health-care costs and lower turnover. Co-workers and managers benefit when employees are working rather than spending days at home with a sick child and when mothers are able to return to work sooner (and with greater peace of mind) after maternity leave than they otherwise would. Everyone in the organization benefits from long-term employee retention, and the business saves money on training costs and orientation time.3
Good For Your Business
Real-world studies demonstrate the business case for breastfeeding. Because breastfeeding boosts babies' immune systems, breastfed babies are sick less often and their mothers and fathers miss less time at work. New mothers whose jobs offer lactation support are more likely to return to work with their current employer and report increased morale, higher job satisfaction, and better productivity.3
Good For Texas
Texas Mother-Friendly Worksites contribute to the overall health and well-being of our population. According to a 2010 cost-analysis, "the United States incurs $13 billion in excess costs annually and suffers 911 preventable deaths per year because our breastfeeding rates fall far below medical recommendations." 8 A national Healthy People 2020 objective to improve maternal and child health is to increase the number of employers with worksite lactation support programs.9 By being Mother-Friendly, businesses not only improve employee health, they also nurture the community that supplies their future employees and managers.
Although 80% of its employees are male, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power found that 83% of its employees were more positive about the company as a result of the lactation program.8
Businesses with worksite lactation programs experience up to a $3 return for every $1 invested in lactation support.8
I am a Senior Breastfeeding Assistant at the Lactation Foundation in Houston.