4 Out of 5 Working Moms Say Their Employers Could Better Support Breastfeeding Parents

By on March 4, 2020

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McHenry, IL March 04, 2020—

A survey of more than 2,000 working moms found that a majority of women feel they lack the support they need to continue breast milk feeding when they return to work after baby. The survey, conducted in January 2020 by Medela, Mamava, and Milk Stork – the partners behind New Moms’ Healthy Returns— sought to better understand the challenges breastfeeding mothers face when returning to work, as well as to identify opportunities for employers to better support parents during this critical transition.

“Moms told us that going back to work as a breastfeeding parent still isn’t easy. The good news is that there are some simple solutions to help employers improve the support they offer,” said Melissa Gonzales, executive vice president of the Americas, Medela LLC. “We’re excited to work with Mamava and Milk Stork – two companies that share Medela’s commitment to supporting breast milk feeding parents – to help both moms and employers find solutions that work for everyone involved.”

The survey revealed that 4 in 5 mothers feel their employer could do a better job of supporting breastfeeding mothers.  Responses from moms revealed the top areas that employers can help support their breastfeeding community of employees:

  • Offer time and flexibility to pump. More than half of all respondents (68 percent) said that lack of time to utilize their breast pump at work or the stress of pumping enough breast milk at work for baby were the hardest pumping challenges. 
  • Provide a dignified space. Only 40 percent of moms said they had a dedicated lactation space or mothers room with a locking door, and less than a third (28 percent) said that the space available was comfortable and well-furnished. More than 26 percent reported not having a space at work to pump at all. Mothers shared they’d pumped in their cars, in their boss’s office (with another person present), and in plain view of the public and security camera; one even pumped in a shower stall.
  • Offer resources to help them balance work travel with their personal breastfeeding goals. Moms shared that traveling for work while pumping continues to be challenging, with three-quarters of moms sharing there aren’t enough places to pump on the go. More than 65 percent of moms shared they feel challenged getting milk back home to their baby.
  • Embrace small gestures that matter to new parents. One-third of respondents shared that a flexible schedule during the first few weeks of transition back to work was “the best thing” their company offered. Twenty percent said the best employee benefit for breastfeeding was a comfortable, private lactation space stocked with supplies. Additionally, employers who provide a breast pump to use in the workplace may also see productivity benefits – 57 percent of moms surveyed said if they forgot their pump or a necessary part for it on a work day, they would drive back home to get it.

At the forefront in advocating and supporting breast milk feeding families, Medela and Mamava partnered to create the New Moms’ Healthy Returns program that recognizes the challenges employers face in finding and engaging with multiple vendors when supporting breastfeeding. New Moms’ Healthy Returns is easily customizable and brings together a core set of best-in-class products and services, including:   

  • Top-of-the-line breastfeeding products and resources from Medela
  • Lactation pods by Mamava—easy-to-place, freestanding and designed to meet the needs of breast milk feeding mothers
  • 24/7 virtual support to access pediatric experts and lactation consultants from pregnancy through baby’s first year
  • Breast milk shipping for traveling employees through Milk Stork
  • Education and support to help support a successful breastfeeding journey

Visit NewMomsHealthyReturns.com to get access to our toolkit and resources for parents.\

About Medela LLC

Medela’s US-based manufacturing and development facility is headquartered in McHenry, Illinois. Every year, millions of mothers in the U.S. rely on Medela’s technology. As the #1 breast pump brand*, Medela provides the best in research-based breast milk feeding products and clinical education to support moms’ breast milk feeding journey. The company is fully dedicated to supporting mothers so that they can provide breast milk to their baby for as long as they choose. For more information, visit MedelaBreastfeedingUS.com.

About Mamava

Mamava is the expert in lactation space design, thoughtfully designing solutions for breastfeeding moms on-the-go. With both analog and digital products, Mamava celebrates and supports the 21st century breastfeeding mama. Mamava is mama-owned, made in America, and a proud member of the B Corp community. The Mamava app, free for iOS and Android, helps moms find pumping and breastfeeding friendly locations (never a bathroom!), unlocks Mamava pods with proprietary smart technology, and delivers useful breastfeeding content. To learn more visit mamava.com.

About Milk Stork

Milk Stork was launched in August 2015 as the first-of-its-kind service for moms who needed a simple solution for getting their breast milk to their babies back home. Working mom made, and made for working moms, Milk Stork supports hundreds of corporate partners who provide the service to their employees as an employee benefit. For more information on Milk Stork, visit milkstork.com.

*IQVIA ProVoice Survey; September 2018-August 2019.

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