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How Lactation Programs Protect The Bottom Line (Part 2): Retention, Morale, and Public Relations

Providing workplace lactation support is proven to be a good investment for both the business and employees. Not only does it have cost savings, but it is a good investment in retaining valuable employees. Giving breastfeeding mothers workplace lactation support benefits the company and leads to happier and more loyal employees. In Part 2 of our blog we will look at how lactation program lead to increased employee retention, happy and productive employees, and a positive corporate image. Higher Employee Retention Many breastfeeding mothers reconsider returning to work due to the responsibilities, stress, and demand of taking care and feeding their baby. However, if an employer provides a mother’s room, lactation program, and supportive work environment breastfeeding mothers are more likely to return to the workplace. Keeping your experienced employees lowers and reduces the costs to recruit, hire, and train new talent. Not to mention the impact to the company’s knowledge base and production schedules. Several companies have shared data to support this. Mutual of Omaha’s lactation program allowed them to have a 83% retention rate of new mothers vs. the national average of 59%. Other studies have shown companies with lactation programs have retention rates as high as 94.2% and $75,000 in savings for each employee who returns to work after maternity leave.

Happier And More Productive Employees Companies who have lactation programs and provide breastfeeding support have employees who have improved morale, increased job satisfaction, and higher productivity. The support eases the transition back to work and reduces the time taken for maternity leave. The programs don’t just help moms, but also their husbands and partners. In one study, the benefits of having a breastfeeding support program made a difference in one company that is 80% male. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power found that having a lactation support program made a dramatic difference in reducing turnover and absenteeism for both male and female employees. 83% of the employees were more positive about working for the company because of the lactation program and 67% planned to work there long-term. Great Public Relations By providing a lactation program and a supportive breastfeeding environment you can improve your company’s overall image. Companies that have lactation programs and family-friendly policies can receive recognition and positive media attention. This helps your ability to attract top talent, but also gives you a positive image in your community. In many states, companies with lactation programs can be given a designation as a family-friendly company by local and regional coalitions for breastfeeding.

Healthy Horizons clients have had their mother's rooms featured in popular publications such as an Elle article on America's best mother's rooms. Companies With Lactation Programs Companies of all sizes have benefited from having a lactation program. Large companies with good models of a lactation program are:

  • Amgen (California)

  • Google (worldwide)

  • Various departments of the Federal Government

  • Boston University Medical Center

  • California Public Health Foundation Enterprises

  • CIGNA (Philadelphia, PA)

  • Fort Lewis and Madigan Army Medical Center (Tacoma, WA)

  • Mutual of Omaha

  • Home Depot Corporate Office (Atlanta, GA)

  • Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

  • Pizza Hut Restaurant Service Center (Dallas, TX)

  • Sea World (San Diego, CA)

  • Texas Instruments (Dallas, TX)

Mid-sized and small companies such as Patagonia and Western Environmental Law Center (Eugene, OR) also have model lactation programs.

The fastest growing segment of the workforce are women who have children. Almost 55% of women with children under 3 are employed and over 70% of new mothers in the US choose to breastfeed. The rate for women with a college education is even higher. It’s even more important today to have family-friendly corporate policies and lactation support to retain a diverse workforce.

Contact Healthy Horizons Corporate Lactation Services today to ensure your company has effective family-friendly and lactation policies to support and retain your valuable workforce.

Bibliography “Business Case for Breastfeeding.” Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work | Business Case for Breastfeeding, Accessed 29 Mar. 2017.

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