Letter: Businesses should support breastfeeding

From: Amanda Virostko


Breastfeeding has many benefits to mom and baby that extend to the businesses that support them. Businesses that provide moms with adequate time and space to pump at the office save money. For example, breastfeeding moms miss work 50-percent less due to a child’s illness — when compared to their formula-feeding counterparts. Breastfed babies are healthier because of the added immunity they receive through human breast milk, which leads to lower rates of ear infections, as well as fewer respiratory and diarrheal illnesses.

The cost savings from healthier babies translates to lower insurance costs — which also saves the company money. Employees whose companies provide breastfeeding support consistently report having a higher degree of job satisfaction. Workplaces that support breastfeeding help moms transition back into the workplace after maternity leave. Businesses who support breastfeeding moms often receive positive attention — which may also give your business a positive boost.

Businesses can support moms by allowing them to pump two to three times over an eight-hour period; this time easily being accommodated during lunch and regularly scheduled breaks. The space simply needs to be private, preferably with a door that locks (not a bathroom).

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, followed by breastfeeding with complementary feeding through the first year. Breastfeeding benefits extend to the mom, baby and business beyond the first year. The World Health Organization recognizes this, encouraging moms to breastfeed for at least two years.

For the health of your employees and their families, support the breastfeeding mom in your business. Supporting an employee’s decision to pump is a commitment to improve the public health of the community.