Social media company Twitter is the latest company to announce it will help nursing mums send their breast milk home while on business trips. It joins the rank of companies allowing working mums to ship expressed milk to their babies.
Nine women from the San Francisco-based company have signed up to have their breast milk delivered home at Twitter’s expense.
Twitter spokeswoman Janet Van Huysse says while the company isn’t expecting a stampede of employees wanting to courier breastmilk, “it would have big impact for the people it did include”.
“I don’t know how pervasive this will be,” says Van Huysse in Fortune. “But it’s one of those things: why isn’t everyone doing this?”
Holly Murphy, a senior account sales executive at Twitter says that the new perk is a “game-changer”. According to recent figures, 34 per cent of Twitter employees are women.
“When you come back to work, you’re thinking so many different thoughts,” says Ms Murphy. “Then you have to figure out how am I going to get this food I’ve worked so hard for back to my child.”
To keep up her milk supply, a nursing mother needs to pump every three to four hours.
In the past, female employees who are also nursing mothers have resorted to pumping and dumping their breastmilk on business trips. But rather than dumping unwanted milk while separated from their baby, some Australian working mums are donating to the Mothers’ Milk Bank, which collects, screens, pasteurises and distributes donated human milk to infants and mothers in need.
Companies are slowly paying more attention to the needs of working mothers with a program to allow mums to send breast milk home to their babies curently being developed by tech giant IBM. Milk will be shipped home via temperature-controlled packages. Consulting firm Accenture has introduced a similar plan for US employees.
We can’t wait for companies here in Australia to follow their lead. Let us know if the company you work for has any breastfeeding friendly policies.