How Employers Can Support Breastfeeding Parents

Did you know that around 43% of parents leave the workforce within three months of giving birth? This is a rather shocking statistic, and it reveals the challenge of balancing work and family. Often, people leave the workplace because they aren’t receiving adequate lactation, from their employer.

For employers, there are many benefits to retaining parents in the workforce, so finding ways to support breastfeeding parents is key. After all, it’s much more affordable to keep existing employees than it is to hire and train new ones. 

For another, you can lose out on talented, experienced individuals if you don’t provide adequate support for them as parents.

If you’re an employer looking to create a more supportive environment for breastfeeding and postpartum parents, this guide is for you. With a lactation program, 83% of employees reported higher company satisfaction.

Discover some simple ways to create a more quality-driven workplace for parents below.

Offer Lactation Benefits

One effective way to support breastfeeding parents as they transition back to work is by offering extra health benefits. Lactation benefits for employees aren’t as complicated or expensive as they might seem. 

In fact, according to The Lactation Network, “Workplace-sponsored lactation programs give parents the necessary support they need to thrive”. TLN’s lactation programs boost post-maternity leave retention from 59% to 92%. 

Also, TLN’s Newborn Families program seamlessly integrates into existing benefits and covers lactation care through self-insured health plans.

These benefits should include offering lactation consultant services through an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). A lactation consultant can support breastfeeding parents throughout their breastfeeding journey, offering assistance with any difficulties they encounter.

Pay For Better Insurance

Another excellent way for employers to retain breastfeeding parents is to have better insurance. Many insurance providers will cover things like breast pumps and lactation benefits such as a lactation consultation with an IBCLC.

However, if your insurance options are more minimal, they might not offer much support to new parents, making it harder for parents to balance work and family.

Take a close look at your insurance provider and the benefits offered. Otherwise, new parents may be tempted to go to a workplace with better healthcare options. 

Provide Flexibility

As a workplace, you tend to ensure productivity and efficiency. While these are important, you’ll have a more successful business with higher productivity if you offer adequate support to your employees.

Parents, especially breastfeeding parents, want employers who allow for some flexibility. While this doesn’t mean you have to provide unlimited vacation time or remote positions, a lactation room, and being understanding of the parent’s role goes a long way.

Parents may have emergencies related to their health or their children’s health. They may also need extra time for breaks to breastfeed or pump. 

Encourage Vacation Days

Some workplaces are more demanding than others, and employees may feel like they can’t even use their vacation days if they want to succeed. However, rest is critical, and it’s especially important for new parents.

Create a company culture where taking vacation days is both encouraged and expected. This way, your employees won’t feel stressed about taking time off. If you notice new parents aren’t taking their full parental leave, encourage them to do so.

You might find that this shift increases morale and productivity for the entire company. 

Pay Competitively

Finally, remember that fair and competitive pay is one of the best ways to retain employees in general, and this also applies to parents. Parents now have another mouth to feed, so they’ll want to be at a job where they make enough money for their growing family. 

Ensure you are offering great salaries and overall benefits. Otherwise, you may lose employees to other companies with better pay.

Interesting Related Article: “4 Strategies for Hiring Reliable Employees that Build Trust in the Workplace