- A recent survey done by Medala finds that over 50% of working women feel that corporate lack breastfeeding facilities.
- Breastfeeding was the reason for 54% mothers to quit their jobs.
- After child birth, only 35% of women were able to resume back to work within 6 - 9 months.
Breast milk is the very first nutrient to the child after birth and the sole food that needs to be given for the first 6 months. The nutritional profile of breast milk in terms of calories, vitamins, and minerals is the BEST for the infant as it has the perfect proportion of them all.
From antibodies which protect an infant at birth, to the exclusive nutrients in mothers' milk which prevent a number of childhood diseases, the benefits of breastfeeding are incalculable.
Though it is vital, many mothers forego breastfeeding due to various reasons. Sometimes social, work related, psychological and personal reasons prevent mothers from being able to breastfeed the child. In such cases breast milk can be expressed manually or with a breast pump, stored under optimum conditions and given to the infant when needed.
Medela India, leading manufacturer of breast pumps and nursing accessories analysed the most common issues that affect a mother's breastfeeding decision and was conducted across major metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and other tier-2 cities.
Opinion of Working Mothers on Breastfeeding
The survey brings to notice, the urgent need for Indian workplaces and corporate to encourage and support new mothers to breastfeed their babies.
- Seventy-eight percent of Indian mothers planned to exclusively breastfeed their infants for the first 6 months post-delivery.
- After becoming a mother, 54% had to forego their career aspirations.
- Over 50% of working women in India feel that corporates lack facilities that encourage breastfeeding.
- Only 35% of new lactating mothers were able to resume back to jobs within 6-9 months.
What Can The Corporate Do?
Not only corporate but any company which employ women could make arrangements with regard to work timing, work schedule, setting up feeding rooms. Mothers would soon be able to get back to work once they are are able to balance their responsibilities at work and at home.
Assigning flexible work timing or work from home options would make them feel supportive. Free lactation support through lactation consultants could encourage them. Sharing workload will not only make mothers give their best but will also benefit the organization as they may continue to work for the company.
Breastfeeding can be challenging to mothers who play an equal role in managing the finance at home. Motivation from the work place can be a real boost as a support to reach great heights.