Chennai: As world celebrates Mother’s Day, new mothers working in metro cities of the country feel that workplaces lack breastfeeding support and other facilities. Lack of infrastructure for breastfeeding at workplace is the main reason of why large populations of new mothers shift from breastfeeding to formula feeding, reveals a survey by Medela India and ProEves.
Women shift to formula feeding once they get back to work post pregnancy due to lack of breastfeeding support, which affects the child health. The survey conducted across 38 leading organizations under various sectors like FMCG, manufacturing, IT, ITES, e-commerce, financial services highlighted that new mothers who resume work post their maternity leave have two major concerns- breastfeeding at work and the facilities provided by the employer for doing so.
Though 92 per cent of the companies comply with the maternity benefit of 26 weeks, only 33 per cent of them have a dedicated nursing room as per the need of new mothers, reveals the survey. While 53 per cent companies have medical rooms that nursing mothers can use to extract milk, only 37 per cent of the workplaces have a storage unit for the extracted breast milk.
Access to sanitizers and other accessories such as hand wipes to keep up with the hygiene is available in only 34 per cent of thesurveyedworkplaces.
Emphasizing the need to offer comfortable breastfeeding at workplace, Emilie Moulard, Managing Director of Medela said, “Corporates need to offer comfortable breastfeeding, pumping facilities with dedicated rooms and equipment such as breast pumps, storage bags, feeding pillows. The next thing would be to help break the taboo of breastfeeding at work, by establishing a better dialogue between the management and returning employee. Peer groups and access to counselors can help to deal with this transition in a very hormonal and emotional period”.
Medicos emphasize on the significance of breastfeeding as it has various benefits for the child and the mother. Breast milk is the only diet a child should be provided for first six months of life that protects against several infections and provides them necessary nutrients....