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If you have breastfeeding employees who need to travel for business, it’s important to consider what your lactation program can provide to help these moms continue to provide breastmilk for their babies. These moms may be away from their babies for days or weeks at a time. During their trip, they will need a place to pump during the day and a way to store their milk throughout the trip. They will also need to bring the milk back with them or ship it home. By providing extra assistance, your corporate lactation program can help these moms continue to successfully pump milk for their babies.
If your employee is traveling to another company site, ensure that the site is equipped with mother’s rooms or a private office. Information about mother’s rooms at other corporate locations should be easy for employees to find. It should include locations of the mother’s rooms and a map so the employee can find the room easily. Put the mother’s room information on the company website for all company locations so it is easy to find and reference. If the mother’s rooms need special access, the employee should easily find instructions for getting access to the room. It’s a good idea to allow employees to set up their access before they arrive so they are not delayed when they need to pump.
It’s also important for employees to know what kind of pump or equipment is provided in the room, and what kind of personal kit the mother needs for that pump. Some companies may have different pumps across their sites, so it is especially important for a mother to get the right kit. The best way is for companies to have pumping kits available for their employees so if the mother does not have the right kit, or her kit was lost or damaged during travel, one can be made available for her. This also prevents her from getting medical issues from suddenly not being able to pump regularly.
If a mother is visiting an outside company, your company should help get the information she needs to pump milk at that company. This could be getting her in touch with the right contact person at the other company, and helping facilitate getting her access to use their mother’s room, or having the company provide a space to pump. If the mother needs to bring her own pump because none are provided, your lactation program could provide her with a personal pump through insurance or a rental pump. Arrangements should be made for the employee to store her milk during the day at the other business.
The hotel where your employee is staying should have a refrigerator in the room to store breastmilk. If a fridge is not a standard part of the hotel room, your company should be able to rent or expense the cost of adding a fridge in the room. Many hotels will provide a fridge for free if the mother lets them know it will be used for storing breastmilk. Or allow the employee to choose a hotel where a fridge or freezer is a standard part of the room.
Provide your employees with local information on where to buy breastfeeding supplies in case the mother needs something. Healthy Horizons can ship supplies to mother’s anywhere and can support traveling moms.
Methods of transporting milk depend on how the employee traveled (car, plane, etc), and the duration of the travel time. Some employees may be able to use ice packs to keep their milk cold until they return home. Along with kits, have ice packs and coolers available for your employees to keep milk cold while they travel to and from the hotel, and traveling home when visiting another company location. If an employee has a large quantity of milk to transport because she was away for a longer time, consider having the employee’s milk shipped back home. Providing this ability to your employees allows moms who are away on longer trips to send milk home during their absence to ensure their babies have enough breastmilk while mom is away.
Ensure that employees continue to benefit from a great lactation program not only when they are home but also when they are traveling on business for your company. By providing them extra support while they are traveling, you can continue to contribute to the success of your program and their breastfeeding efforts. Contact Healthy Horizons Corporate Lactation Services to help set up your program or support breastfeeding employees on business travel.