Workers give breastfeeding the thumbs up
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Employees from at least one company view breastfeeding policies positively, a new study finds. Over 400 staff members from a single corporation were polled about breastfeeding and pumping, coworkers who breastfed/pumped and whether or not allowing employees to do so on the job positively or negatively impacted productivity. And? The results were pretty positive! Many employees at the unnamed but "family-friendly" corporation--including policies like on-site daycare and paid family leave--said they'd either breastfed themselves or knew a coworker who'd taken advantage of the policy. Most employees thought allowing breastfeeding on the job did not diminish productivity and decreased absenteeism.
Federal law now requires employers to provide three unpaid twenty minute periods during the workday for lactating women to pump breastmilk, along with, where reasonably available, a private place in which to do it. (There are no federal policies supporting actual breastfeeding itself, to my knowledge) The result? My guess is that more women are returning to work, and are able to balance what's good for their employers (employees who show up to work and remain employed thereby reducing turnover) and good for their families.
The only downside of the survey was that it involved only one company. The anonymous company sounds like a great place to work, full of employees who support breastfeeding moms. Would other corporations be as likely to follow suit? Hard to say. It's also difficult to assume that the results of what works for one company works for all of them. In my experience, the places I've worked have all been very pro-family, pro-breastfeeding, even before any such laws were established or policies were seen as the norm rather than the exception. Hopefully, my experience is similar to other working moms (and dads!)--do you/did you work for a company that had good breastfeeding/pumping policies?