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Supporting nursing moms at work is not only the right thing to do. It can also result in bottom-line benefits to your company.
Research shows that both mothers and their infants enjoy better health through breastfeeding. Mothers have less risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. They also recover from pregnancy faster. This means they can return to work feeling more productive! Infants also enjoy better health. They are less likely to experience a wide range of illnesses and diseases (including childhood leukemia, diabetes, and obesity).
Babies who are not breastfed visit the physician more often, spend more days in the hospital, and require more prescriptions than breastfed infants. One study found that the United States could save $13 billion per year if 90% of mothers exclusively breastfeed their infants for 6 months, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Because babies are healthier when they are breastfed, their parents are less likely to miss work.
Research shows that women who receive support to express milk at work are more productive and loyal to the company. They are also more likely to return from maternity leave, and often come back to work earlier.
For more information on bottom-line benefits to businesses when they support nursing mothers, read the Business Case for Breastfeeding toolkit for employers, published by the Health Resources and Services Administration's Maternal and Child Health Bureau.
Content last updated September 18, 2014.
Resources last updated April 15, 2014.