Breastfeeding Programs at Work

Executive Summary

The health of babies and mothers is the primary concern when deciding on the return to work formula after the maternity leave lapses. Mothers’ breastfeeding their babies while at work is critical for their health and that of the babies’. The breastfeeding This is achieved by incorporating programs that ensure the mother spends ample time with the child. These programs seek to ensure that the best welfare of newborn babies and mothers can have vast positive effects on the company’s workforce. Such a program seeks to serve the interests of both parties involved. On the part of employees, it promotes office morale by allowing the mother to bond with the child. This shows concern and provides factual information to the staff that they are valued in the company. The company has offered a range of programs to ensure my smooth transition in the job post-natal. I took the liberty of researching the programs to ensure I choose the best program.

Research

Many women leave employment after childbirth, mainly due to family structure, which ultimately impacts negatively on their career progression. This can be avoided by striking a balance between work and personal life. In the contemporary business world, there are diverse programs associated with post-natal strategies for mothers who have been recalled. The research I did was aimed at aiding choose the best course of action that would be beneficial to both the mother and child while maintaining consistency and efficiency at work. The best program would incorporate all three parties, ensuring that each of their interests is satisfied with little or no negative implication. The research incorporated programs such as; on-site care, part-time working, telecommuting, job sharing, flexible job schedules, and commuting the baby from home to work assisted by a caretaker (Stoltenburg, 2018). After analyzing the available programs, the best action plan would entail coming to work with the baby.

Implementation of the Plan

The infant at work program is created to enable eligible employees, such as new mothers and fathers to bring their baby to work. The company shows commitment to supporting parental well-being and healthy infant development. The company has spelled out the policy requirements that ensure workplace disruptions are controlled and that employees can maintain focus while improving productivity. The company’s policy regarding the infant at work program involves designing a special room for breastfeeding mothers equipped with professional caretakers. Accommodation of breastfeeding mothers in a special room is spelled out under the Affordable Care Act (Kozhimannil, Jou, Gjerdingen, and McGovern, 2016) The company hires professional nurses. They take care of the child while the employees engage in work-related programs.

The hiring of professional nurses provides a fast-access point to trained personnel who can provide the necessary care for mothers. This creates an opportunity where mothers can, from time to time, check on their babies and breastfeed them sufficiently. Professional nurses also serve as efficient substitutes to nurse the baby through the formula to ascertain the babies’ satisfaction and health (Haviland, James, Killman & Trbovich, 2015). The program creates a chance for mothers to check on their babies frequently and breastfeed them while still maintaining their productivity level. The implementation of the plan as the best-fit stems from the research using a cost-benefit analysis.

Benefits of Infant at Work Program for Mothers and the Company

On-site childcare increases bonding between the mother and the child. The bonding is achieved when the mother gets to breastfeed the baby at intervals within the day. The program enables the family to save money. The high cost of full-time infant childcare and family income reduction was the primary reason for going back to work as I would support the family financially. The company subsidizes the costs of hiring a professional caretaker by way of cost-sharing with the parents. The company benefits from employee retention as critical employees can work efficiently without the need to quit (Lisbona, Bernabé, and Palací, 2020). With the unemployment rate soaring, employers have to implement creative strategies to attract and retain talent in a competitive market. The program also improves morale among the staff, especially the mothers, due to the reduction in stress levels associated with the child being away from them for long periods. There is also improved teamwork and excellent public relations by employee satisfaction as they deem the company is committed to their needs.

Community Agencies

While at work, breastfeeding mothers have attracted community recognition due to the lack of information and training accorded to mothers during this critical time. Examples of community agencies involved in the promotion of these services include; breastfeeding support groups consisting of women who have undertaken the program successfully and the national breastfeeding helpline. Mothers who have been in employment while still nursing the baby act as the best reference for the struggles that new mothers go through each day at the office. The groups can be contacted through hospital helplines and social media tools. The groups often use referrals through the member’s friend networks. The groups offer advice to the new mothers by providing mutual support to first-time mothers and physical and psychological exercises (Dombrowski, Henderson, Leslie, Mohammed, Johnson and Allan, 2020). This is done by holding meetings where the women share their experiences, and the services are free.

Local children’s center is an agency committed to helping mothers through the breastfeeding period by sharing information and support. The agency has a dedicated hotline that operates for specific hours daily. The agency can also be contacted through its social media platforms. The agency employs mothers who have breastfed and received extensive training in breastfeeding support voluntarily. The services offered include training on how to feed the baby, breastfeeding tips on how to store expressed milk, and providing reassurances and help in overcoming common breastfeeding hurdles such as unsatisfactory milk expression. The agency relies on volunteers; thus, the services offered are free.

Obstacles

The on-site care package though attractive is also ridden with challenges that impact the mother and the company. Many infants at work policies state that the employee will receive less pay: salary for six hours rather than 8 hours. This reduced pay, coupled with the caretaker pay, will hurt the already dwindling family financials. The infants often are associated with distractions for the mother while in the office. The distractions are believed to lower productivity; thus, the company enacted rules to have performance reviews from the employees while on the program. Though the number of distractions may not be frequent, productivity is bound to change.

The job description is another challenge to implementing this course of action where the stress levels can hinder the expression of milk. Optimum conditions are necessary for the breastfeeding program to work as hostile conditions enhance risks to both the baby and the mother (Pounds, Fisher, Barnes-Josiah, Coleman and Lefebvre, 2017). The office environment provides challenges when the baby becomes mobile, as it becomes hard to ensure their safety. Another challenge is time management. Most of the time is taken up by the job and the child leaving the mother with few hours for personal development. This leads to sleep deprivation as one tries to fix a flexible time table to accommodate every aspect of motherhood.

Conclusion

The topic was chosen as I wanted to highlight the challenges that new mothers have to overcome in the contemporary business world, especially working mothers. The research conducted in this lot of life scenario was aimed at showcasing the various cracks in the healthcare system and business world concerning the transition from maternity leave back to the office premises. The research shows the need for reforms in the systems currently in use as they are draconian to the needs of the mother and the baby. The expensive healthcare costs associated with the post-natal affordability of caretakers play a significant role in career women stagnating in job development. The women are forced to quit their jobs when the company does not offer programs that favor the mother’s adjusted timetable.

The agencies responsible should push for the enacted of regulations and policies that will benefit the new mothers by cushioning them against hurdles they experience when breastfeeding, such as the extension of maternity leave or a return to work formula after a specified period taken to cater for the baby. Researching the topic has elicited positive views on parenting, where I got to know the sacrifice working mothers go through each day to cater to the child’s best upbringing. The support provided to mothers shows the concern that people have on the health of children and new mothers, a virtue that I will endeavor to spread to members of the public who are not enlightened on the hurdles the mothers go through every day.

 

 

References

Dombrowski, L., Henderson, S., Leslie, J., Mohammed, K., Johnson, D., & Allan, N. (2020). The role of early years care providers in supporting continued breastfeeding and breast milk feeding. Early Years, 40(2), 205-220.

Haviland, B., James, K., Killman, M., & Trbovich, K. (2015). Supporting breastfeeding in the workplace. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood38(3), 118-119.

Kozhimannil, K. B., Jou, J., Gjerdingen, D. K., & McGovern, P. M. (2016). Access to workplace accommodations to support breastfeeding after the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Women’s Health Issues, 26(1), 6-13.

Lisbona, A. M., Bernabé, M., & Palací, F. J. (2020). Lactation and Work: Managers’ Support for Breastfeeding Enhance Vertical Trust and Organizational Identification. Frontiers in Psychology11, 18.

Pounds, L., Fisher, C. M., Barnes-Josiah, D., Coleman, J. D., & Lefebvre, R. C. (2017). The role of early maternal support in balancing full-time work and infant exclusive breastfeeding: A qualitative study. Breastfeeding Medicine, 12(1), 33-38.

Stoltenburg, R. (2018). Bringing Babies to Work? A Qualitative Study of Infant-at-Work Programs (Doctoral dissertation, The University of Texas School of Public Health).

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