Over 50 per cent of working women in India feel that corporates lack breastfeeding facilities

The Medela Breastfeed India Survey 2017 highlights the role of corporates in helping mothers breastfeed while getting back to work

•	54% of mothers said they had to quit their jobs for breastfeeding their baby
•	There is a need for corporate preparedness in enabling working women to breastfeed, as only 35% of new lactating mothers of India were able to resume back to jobs within 6-9 months

On the occasion of World Breastfeeding Week, a breastfeeding survey conducted by Medela India, leading manufacturer of breast pumps and nursing accessories revealed that over 50% of the country’s working women felt that their offices lacked proper breastfeeding or lactation facilities to help them continue work and breastfeeding alongside.  This was a one of a kind survey which analysed the most common issues that affect a mother’s breastfeeding decision and was conducted across major metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and other tier-2 cities.

working women in India feel that corporates lack breastfeeding facilities

 The findings from the survey further highlighted that while 78% of Indian mothers planned to exclusively breastfeed their infants for the first 6 months post-delivery for ensuring a strong and healthy foundation for the child, 54% had to forego their career aspirations after becoming a mother.

 This World Breastfeeding Week (1st- 7th August) which is aimed at achieving sustainable development goals and encouraging mothers to breastfeed, the survey brings to the forefront, the urgent need for Indian workplaces and corporates to encourage and support new mothers in breastfeeding their babies to contribute to the larger cause of building a healthier tomorrow.

 Speaking on the need for supporting mothers in sustaining their breastfeeding decision, Emilie Moulard, Managing Director, Medela India said, “A large segment of new mothers today are finding themselves caught between the responsibilities of motherhood and that of a professional. Therefore, the role of corporates in enabling mothers to double-shift between home and work is becoming increasingly important.  Initiatives such as setting up feeding rooms will not only help new mothers to take care of their infants but would also reduce the attrition rates of organizations. Lending emotional and mental support like assigning flexible work timing or work from home options, sharing the workload and free lactation support through lactation consultants/ will create a smooth ‘back to work’ journey for new mothers which will be beneficial not only for her but the organisation as a whole”.

 The idea of the survey was to find recent trends and breastfeeding habits of Indian mothers. The survey results further focused on findings related to first-hour initiation of breastfeeding, percentage of mother’s formula feeding their infants, key insights of lactating mothers both stay-at-home and working along with challenges faced by mothers in breastfeeding their baby.

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