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Breastfeeding Concerns & How Employers Can Help

Many working mothers who breastfeed have concerns that impact their decisions with respect to breastfeeding and working. Once your company has a lactation program in place, mothers need to access to the lactation program policy, benefit offerings, and support to make informed decisions and address issues or specific needs they have. Make sure that employee concerns are addressed, and reach out to make sure something has not been overlooked. What may seem to be a practical solution may be an inconvenience for a breastfeeding mother. Be aware of the more common breastfeeding concerns mothers have to make your program a success! Learn what many mothers are thinking below.

Modesty Concerns

Many women feel shy and sensitive about letting their co-workers and supervisors know they are pumping milk for their baby. They are concerned about unwanted attention, rude remarks, and being unfairly judged in performance reviews. They also may be concerned about being seen leaving to take pump breaks, pumping milk in private, or even accidental leaking of breastmilk. Help address these concerns by ensuring that your employees have a private place to pump that locks. Ensure that supervisors and employees understand what is not appropriate behavior towards a breastfeeding mother and enforce proper conduct. Supervisors should be educated and coached on how to properly manage employees who breastfeed.

The Ability to Work and Breastfeed

Employment is a big factor toward a woman’s decision to breastfeed. A woman’s decision on how she wants to feed her infant is often influenced by returning to work. The same decision also influences whether she wants to continue to work or wean her baby. If a woman decides she wants to breastfeed, she may decide to not return to work if that is an affordable option or the barriers to pumping at work are too high. Especially if she is not aware that it is possible to breastfeed and work. Provide your employees with information on your lactation program and provide a supportive environment. Expecting employees who receive education about their company’s lactation program and support prior to going on leave can make informed decisions about infant feeding and returning to work. Having discussions with their supervisor on using the mother’s room and having scheduled breaks help mothers feel at ease about returning to work and breastfeeding.

Lack of Support

Lack of support in both the mother’s family and workplace make it more challenging for mothers who are pumping milk at work. Mothers lack support are more likely to quit breastfeeding before the baby is a year old. Support your mothers by making sure they have resources available to them when they need it. You can provide them education with back-to-work classes, lactation consultants, and local support groups. Address issues with mother’s rooms promptly, and any inappropriate behavior from other employees. Supporting your breastfeeding mothers not only helps them achieve their goals, but your company’s as well! Company breastfeeding support groups are also a great way to support breastfeeding mothers and fathers.

Making Enough Milk for Baby

Not having enough milk is one of the most common concerns for breastfeeding mothers. Although full-time working mothers are separated from their babies during the day, research shows that mothers can produce enough milk for their babies in a comfortable and supportive environment. Workplace stress can affect a mother’s milk production along with the inability to pump regularly. Ensure that your mothers have what they need to pump milk regularly and comfortably in your mother’s rooms. If a mother needs additional help, Healthy Horizons can provide access to a lactation consultant to help her with her milk supply issues.

Many mothers want to give breastmilk to their baby for a year, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Addressing the main concerns of breastfeeding mothers in your company will help the success of your program by helping mothers achieve their goals. Encourage mothers to give suggestions for the program and express their concerns so you know how you to make your program a success. To find out more, contact Healthy Horizons Corporate Lactation Services on how to ensure your lactation program addresses the top concerns of mothers.