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Some nursing mothers do not feel confident speaking up about their needs. If they are not aware that their employer will support them, they may assume they have limited options. This often results in women making decisions that impact the business, particularly if they do not return to work or they take a very long maternity leave to nurse their baby.
Promoting support services assures that all employees have equal access to support. Employees can then make informed decisions about how they will feed their baby. Mothers state that it also helps them feel good about their employer and increases the likelihood they will return to work after their maternity leave.
Supervisors should talk with employees during their pregnancy to discuss the support they will receive when they return to work. Many women report that when their supervisor brings up the subject, they feel valued and respected.
Other options for promoting services:
Ask women who have previously breastfed to serve as ambassadors for the company's support services for nursing moms.
At NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Bethesda, MD, women who breastfed and used the NASA support services serve as "super moms." They inform pregnant women about the support they will receive when they return to work, and are available as a resource to new mothers. They periodically check the milk expression room and report any issues to the appropriate contacts. Because the large NASA campus has many buildings, a "super mom" is designated on a rotating basis for each building.
Content last updated June 20, 2014.
Resources last updated April 15, 2014.