Creating a Premium Experience for New Mothers
Women comprise nearly half of today’s workforce, and according to the CDC mothers are the fastest growing segment of the labor force. Additionally, according to the CDC’s 2016 Breastfeeding Report Card, more than 80 percent of mothers attempt to nurse their newborns, yet by six months only 24.9 percent continue. Many factors go into that decision, but one of the biggest challenges is returning to work and not having a supportive environment.
Companies are trying to alleviate this by providing dedicated Nursing Mothers Rooms in their buildings. Workplaces that support mothers as they return to work are not only showing how much they value their employee, but also making a smart business decision.
Organizations that provide a comprehensive lactation program add value for both returning mothers and the company’s ROI. With such measures in place there are lower rates of employee absenteeism and turnover as well as improved productivity and employee morale and loyalty. By taking simple steps to support pumping mothers businesses can retain their talent, create devoted employees, and present themselves as an attractive option for job seekers.
To provide a proper Mother’s Room organizations should consider the following:
• Private Room: Provide a clean, dedicated private room, with a locking door, that is located close to the workspace. This should not be a bathroom, or located in a separate building, or many floors away.
• Comfortable Chair: An upright, comfortable lounge chair with minimal recline is ideal for nursing mothers.
• Ottoman: A padded ottoman to elevate the mother’s feet is important for varying posture.
• Power Access: Close accessibility to a power outlet is needed for the pump and other devices (phone /laptop).
• Table Surface: A flexible, moveable table surface provides a place for pumping supplies and electronics, allowing mothers to stay productive while they pump.
• Refrigerator: Provide a place for mothers to store milk and pump supplies (separate from general staff refrigerator).
• Sink: Give mothers the ability to wash pump supplies privately away from the general staff area.
• Cleaning Supplies: Offer dish soap, bottle brushes, and anti-bacterial wipes to assist in safe clean up.
• Mirror: A mirror allows mothers to recompose before reentering the workspace.
• Room Sign-up System: Set up a room scheduling system to avoid overlap and wasted time.
• Extras: Leading organizations also provide hospital grade pumps, pump supplies and snacks for their nursing mothers. Consider going above and beyond to show your employees you care.