When a woman becomes pregnant, or is planning to become pregnant, she begins to evaluate things in her life that could impact her or the health of her baby. This includes her social environment as well as her physical environment. She might evaluate the environment in which she works, maternity leave rights in the workplace, and seek additional support through lactation care.
In her evaluation, she will assess the toxicity of each and make determinations on whether or not they are safe and provide the proper support she needs for her new role as a parent.
One of the biggest areas where a woman will experience a social impact when pregnant is in her place of work. It is estimated that over 70% of women with children under the age of 18 participate in the workforce. This is a significant number of individuals, who play a vital role in the economy.
With this knowledge, employers should make a more concerted effort to support women and offer better family benefits, as this will help to provide a better work environment and increase incentives for working within their company. This is especially important as job openings remain high as employers struggle to find and retain good employees.
When companies choose to enact better maternity and paternity benefits, they experience a positive impact in their workforce. In fact, 83% of employees reported higher company satisfaction with a lactation program.
In addition, by offering professional breastfeeding support, organizations like The Lactation Network’s Newborn Families Program can seamlessly integrate into existing benefits and cover lactation care through self-insured health plans. TLN lactation programs boost post-maternity leave retention from 59% to 92%.
If you’re a lactating parent, it’s important to reach out to your employer and inquire about their lactation benefits. Not only can these benefits make your breastfeeding journey more comfortable and manageable, but they can also improve your overall well-being and productivity in the workplace.
Environmental Factors that Affect Pregnant and Breastfeeding Individuals
When assessing the workplace environment parents may see that some employers are lacking in providing proper prenatal and postpartum support. Although lactation care is healthcare, this critical component is often missing in many healthcare plans.
By utilizing the resources provided by The Lactation Network (TLN), employers can better support employees in their breastfeeding goals. Furthermore, by allowing for flexible work hours, adequate breaks, private areas to breastfeed or pump, and educating other employees on the importance of supporting new parents as they strive to make healthy choices for their family, an employer can set the tone for the workplace.
Lactation care can help to cover a variety of different resources including counseling and support. Additional coverage would help fund equipment costs, like breast pumps. By covering the cost of lactation care through the company’s self-insured health plans, employers help to support their employees, increasing retention rates postpartum, and contributing to better productivity overall.
Lactation Care at Work Increases Retention Rates
When an employer includes lactation care benefits, they are not only supporting the best health practices for the new baby, but ultimately improving their bottom line. Research has shown that parents who do not breastfeed their infants are absent from work more than twice as often as those who do. With a lactation program, 83% of employees reported higher company satisfaction.
By implementing a supportive workplace environment for lactating parents, employers help to reinforce best health practices and food choices that lead to better health outcomes for years to come. Studies show that children who are breastfed are at a lower risk for obesity, diabetes, asthma, as well as ear infections and stomach bugs. This decrease in illness further benefits employers as it increases the productivity of their workforce.
A family that is expecting a new child must be vigilant in providing a safe and secure environment, starting in the womb. Expectant parents can look to external factors to evaluate the support system they currently have and understand what they might need. If your employer is not providing the lactation care you deserve, reach out to your benefits manager to see what lactation care is available to you.
When they evaluate the risks of both their physical and social environment, they can help ensure that their child is as healthy and happy as possible.
Don’t be afraid to have a conversation with your employer about your lactation needs and how they can support you. By advocating for yourself and taking advantage of available resources, you can create a positive and supportive environment for breastfeeding at work.