Support for Moms Breastfeeding in Physically Demanding Jobs

Support for Moms Breastfeeding in Physically Demanding Jobs | Baby Chick

Support for Moms Breastfeeding in Physically Demanding Jobs

Women with infants and children make up the fastest-growing segment of the labor force, with 58.6% of those working moms having infants under the age of one. As gender roles diversify, more women are entering physically demanding positions with construction companies, police forces, warehouses, and more. As a result, they face unique challenges while attempting to breast pump at work.

However, many organizations are finding that the benefits of supporting their breastfeeding employees are substantial, including healthier moms and healthier babies, lowered healthcare costs, and decreased turnover rates.

Challenges Moms Face in Physically Demanding Jobs

Many moms in physically demanding positions struggle to find time to take breast pumping breaks during their shifts. During an eight-hour day, moms will need to pump two to three times, possibly more during longer shifts.

Waitresses are often too busy handling multiple tables to suddenly stop for a pumping break, and policewomen are often traveling in the field. Mothers are simply unaware of when and where they will be able to pump. This is partly due to the fact that many businesses still have not provided nursing mothers with an adequate lactation room.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) states that employers must provide eligible nursing mothers with reasonable break time to express breastmilk for their children for up to one year after giving birth.

Employers must also provide a private space for the purpose of breast pumping that’s not a bathroom and free from intrusion of the public or coworkers*. This is crucial for a mother’s privacy and comfort, especially for those in uniform when they have to undress in order to pump.

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Unfortunately, these difficulties can cause moms to jeopardize either their jobs or their breastfeeding goals because it can be too challenging to keep both. However, when employers and employees work together, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Benefits Of Breastfeeding

Employers that have already implemented supportive programs for their lactating mothers from white collar to blue collar jobs are realizing monetary savings. They are gaining $3 for every $1 invested due to happier and healthier moms, lowered healthcare costs, and increased productivity.

Moms who are allowed to continue their breastfeeding journeys are healthier, as breastfeeding helps them to recover from giving birth more quickly. Therefore, they’re better able to return to their physically demanding positions.

When moms have breaks, they also have the chance to rehydrate and consume healthy calories by eating snacks and drinking water while breast pumping. As a result, their milk flow will be more productive to provide more for their infants, and they will feel more energized during their shifts.

Breastfed babies are also healthier, resulting in fewer days off for mom, lowering the cost of lost work and healthcare. After supporting breastfeeding mothers, one corporation witnessed the average healthcare cost per infant drop from $3,415 to $1,269 because babies were sick less often.

After implementing a breastfeeding support program, one business started to save $42,000 annually from lower rates of absenteeism. Another business that’s made up of 80% male employees experienced a 35% drop in healthcare claims, a 71% drop in time taken off, and an 83% increase in workplace positivity after simply taking the steps to support their breastfeeding moms.

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Most importantly, when moms are supported, they are more engaged employees, resulting in lower turnover rates that by far offset the costs of starting a breastfeeding program.

Ways To Support Your Breastfeeding Moms

1. Communicate with your moms to learn their needs and work with them to create a flexible pumping schedule.

Involve your team to help cover the workload during breaks. Moms don’t need much more time than the average break, and can help cover tasks when other employees are busy.

2. Create a space for them to breast pump.

You can easily find an unused office or room to easily convert, even on a construction site. Outfit it with a chair to relax in, surface to place their breast pump and accessories, and mini fridge for milk storage. An area with a water source nearby is best, for hand washing. If absolutely no space is available, consider other options, such as a popup tent.

3. If your working mom is out in the field, allow them to come back to the office or station to breast pump.

You can also use the pumpspotting app to find lactation rooms conveniently located along their routes.

It’s Time To Start Supporting Breastfeeding Moms

As women are filling more vital roles across various physically demanding jobs, positions will become increasingly competitive to fill. Attractive benefits such as breastfeeding support will help retain and attract employees.

Tackling the individual challenges that come with implementing a breastfeeding program for your business will be well worth the investment as your turnover rate, healthcare costs, and absentee rates decline.

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*Businesses with fewer than 50 employees are not subject to this provision if they can prove that compliance would impose an undue hardship.

About the Author /

Jennifer Jordan is the Director of Mom & Baby at Aeroflow Healthcare. A working and once-breastfeeding mom, Jennifer - along with her team - is committed to supporting all moms on their breastfeeding journey through support and education.

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Instagram post 18074272528164523 @debiandbebi wrote these words when she was a new mom and struggled with #postpartumdepression. She hopes to remind everyone that it is okay to struggle with being a new mom and that does not mean you don't love your baby. ❤️⁠
(quote by @debiandbebi)⁠
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#postpartum #mentalhealth #ppd #motherhood #selfcare #kindnessmatters #postpartumprogress #postpartumlife #newmom #newmotherhood #mommychick #babychick #depression #mentalhealthmatters
Instagram post 17863413055589017 When they wake up in the morning and give you that big grin . . . 😍 There is nothing sweeter.⁠
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📷: @cmon.mama⁠
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Instagram post 17862171103601373 All of these things make me happy. What would you add to your self care toolbox?⁠
I'm seriously needing some of these things tonight to start a new week. Hoping you mamas get some self care time too! 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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Instagram post 17974795027288980 Was he dreaming he was riding a bike last night escaping from wild animals?! OUCH! 🤕🚲⁠
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Instagram post 18081610903134401 Praying that your toddler let's you get to sleep this weekend. 🙏💤⁠
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Instagram post 17853200368708392 SURPRISE! A little shocked, a little tired, and a LOT BLESSED. Congrats, @sarah_lit! ❤️⁠
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Instagram post 17864808397574241 Pregnant and hungry all the time? Here are some great ideas to keep in the fridge when the hunger pains kick in! 🤰👍⁠
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Instagram post 18073051357163780 When it comes to clamping the cord, our mottos is "what's the rush?" The blood volume in the placenta and cord at the time of birth is BABY'S blood. It's simply mid-circulation in the placenta at the time of birth. It just makes sense to leave it be and let it finish its job.⁠
No, the blood won't drain out of baby and go backwards into the placenta.⁠
No, your baby is not more likely to get sick from jaundice.⁠
Yes, your baby will still be getting oxygen while they figure out breathing, especially important if they need resuscitation.⁠
Yes, your baby will have better iron levels for the first year of their life.⁠
Look at how thick and engorged this cord still is at 4 and 18 minutes after baby was born. Just imagine how much blood baby would have lost if the cord had been clamped immediately, or at 60 seconds, 90 seconds, or 3 minutes! The placenta was expelled immediately before the 18 minute photo was taken. The pulse in the cord could still be felt even AFTER THE PLACENTA HAD BEEN DELIVERED! The cord was finally clamped and cut more than an hour after birth at 73 minutes. ❤️⁠
📷: @lawrenrosephotography⁠
Informative post and words by @bundleborn⁠
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Instagram post 17852665306696124 With the holiday season upon us and moms trying to make everything magical for their families, remember to stop and take a moment to take care of you. ❤️ Have a hot cup of coffee, a long warm shower and some alone time. Communicate this with your partner not as a wish but as a necessity. We must take the time to take care of ourselves to better take care of them. 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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Instagram post 18095239591099259 After holiday feasting . . . this baby gets me.⁠ 🤣
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Instagram post 17844162355818683 I think I had a little too much turkey . . . and pie. 😬🍗🥧 #leggingsforlife⁠
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Instagram post 17990835490280335 I totally felt this way when I was pregnant. And kinda feel this way after all that turkey. 🤣🦃 Happy turkey day to all you expecting mamas!!⁠
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Instagram post 18094211479105476 I spy with my little eye the cutest turkey ever. 😍 Happy Thanksgiving, everybody! Hope it's filled with love, laughter, and cuteness like this. ❤️⁠
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Instagram post 17852562805720320 Loneliness is a real thing in new motherhood and I want to be sure we talk about this. It's okay to say, "I feel lonely." We normalize one another's experiences when we share the reality of our journey. It can be so isolating when we bring our small human home and our lives revolve around his/her care. We feel detached from the outside world. The monotony of new motherhood can be heavy.⁠
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Here are some tips to combat isolation:⁠
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1️⃣ Get outside when possible.⁠
2️⃣ Video chat with friends/family.⁠
3️⃣ Join a virtual group.⁠
4️⃣ Invite someone to come over.⁠
5️⃣ Find a local mom's group.⁠
6️⃣ Listen to the radio or a podcast (it's interesting how this can make us feel connected with others)⁠
7️⃣ Run an errand--even grabbing a coffee via drive-thru can feel good.⁠
8️⃣ Get to know your neighbors.⁠
What would you add to the list?⁠
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Repost: words and 📷 by @psychedmommy⁠
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Instagram post 17867282176536875 ⁠For the week of Thanksgiving (and longer if you can!) let's focus on what we DO have instead of what we lack. The more we express gratitude and appreciate our blessings the more we recognize all of our blessings and everything we should be thankful for. 💕⁠
📷: @hallmark⁠
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Instagram post 17855722339639264 ✈️ Tips to Survive a Plane Ride with Kids ✈️⁠
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Flying on a plane with your little one for the first time can be terrifying. Are they going to cry the whole time? How will they handle the airport, the turbulence and the landing? Well we have some tips that will help prepare you for your flight with your kids. Here's what to do to have a more enjoyable experience 😊 {Link in bio!}⁠
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