Making Breastfeeding Work at Work
5 Benefits of Babies to the Workplace
Janice Sneider O'Rourke, MPA, RD, Executive Director, The Milk Bank
The idea came to me one Friday night in September. It was 2011 and one of our employees who was exclusively breastfeeding her 4-month-old baby had just lost her childcare and was scrambling to find an adequate care that would allow her to maintain her employment with us.
"Bring the baby to work", I said when I called her that night.
We didn’t have a formalized policy then like we do now, but it was the beginning of our commitment to supporting our employees in their breastfeeding journey. Since that time, we have welcomed two other babies into the office with their full time and part time working moms and have adopted a formalized “Breastfeeding in the Workplace” policy.
We commit to welcoming any breastfeed baby at The Milk Bank within the first 6 months. We believe that every baby should have access to human milk including the children of our employees. We commit to making every effort to ensure our employees job duties will allow for the easy care of their babies and we trust that our employees will make the best judgement when it comes to the safety of their baby.
This year’s World Breastfeeding Weeks theme was “Breastfeeding and Work - Let’s make it Work”. To celebrate National Breastfeeding Month we've put together a list of the benefits we have found from having our babies with us at work.
Here are some of the benefits we have found to having babies in the workplace.
- 1. Our Employees are loyal: We have found that our employees appreciate the extra time they get to spend with their baby and often find ways to work longer.
- Our Employees miss less work: By being able to directly breastfeed, our Office babies are hardly ever sick, therefore, our employees miss less work.
- Our Employees are happy: Not just the moms who have their babies in the office but also the rest of us. There is nothing like a baby to reduce stress and frustration. A baby smile has the ability to lift the mood in an instant.
- Our Babies are happy: You might assume that having a baby in the office would be a nuisance, but we have found that our Office Babies are happy. They very rarely cry and, in general, are content to be snuggled by anyone around the office.
- It’s the right thing to do: If a human milk bank cannot be baby-friendly, who can?
"There is nothing better than taking a baby break during a stressful day. Snuggles and big toothless smiles in the middle of the work day cannot be beat!" -Andrea Tincher, Office Manager