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Breastfeeding Legislation Changing the Workplace in the US

Esther Kestenbaum
breastfeeding

Breastfeeding in the workplace has taken centre stage. From coast to coast, state lawmakers are passing legislation to protect breastfeeding mothers. New Jersey now recognises breastfeeding mothers as a protected class, while California’s state legislature will vote on a Lactation Accommodation Bill designed to enhance current workplace conditions for new mothers. Contributor Esther Kestenbaum, CEO – DayOne Baby.

California State Senator Scott Wiener, lead author of the legislation, says, “This bill will ease the transition of mothers who return to work following the birth of a child and assists employees to experience a work-life balance.”

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, mothers are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. workforce, but only 52% of new moms have workplace lactation support. In response to this need and legislative changes, an innovative business, DayOne Baby, is providing a suite of on-site lactation services to many of America’s leading-edge corporations, including: Microsoft, Fitbit, Netflix, Airbnb, Salesforce.com, SurveyMonkey and Pinterest.

For the leaders of Human Resource Departments, this is an issue of inclusiveness and diversity, job satisfaction and retention.  More companies are acting to ensure the needs of new mothers returning to work are fully addressed.

According to Esther Kestenbaum, DayOne Baby’s CEO, “People at all phases of life should be physically and emotionally comfortable in their workspaces. The lactation needs of new mothers are profound and universal. Whether you’re on the assembly line in Detroit, on the U.S. Senate floor, or a technology executive, we are committed to improving the comfort and wellness of new mothers and their families.”

Through the efforts of DayOne Baby, Human Resource Departments can now customise a suite of new mother employee packages to include hospital-grade breast pumps, toiletries, and access to expert lactation consultants. Portable legislation-compliant Portable Mothers’ Rooms are rolling out soon.

Barry Lawrence of the Human Resources Certification Institute, says, “Wellness programs are now a regular part of benefits packages for many companies. Employers are viewed as more attractive when they offer options, such as breastfeeding lounges. And many HR professionals report a decrease in absences, improved employee satisfaction and enhanced productivity when wellness options are available.”


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