One of the most important challenges that women face when becoming mothers is balancing their work and family life, especially during the first months, when they must breastfeed their babies and at the same time resume their daily duties at work.
In some cases, thanks to Ecuadorian legislation, mothers choose to take a break from work to focus on their new role, dedicate more time to breastfeeding and provide full care for their little ones. However, for those who wish to return to their working life, this transition can become a source of stress if not managed properly.
Many companies in the country have taken a step forward in promoting breastfeeding through the implementation of inclusive policies and the creation of special lactation rooms so that mothers feel comfortable and enjoy a relaxed environment when extracting their milk. One of the leading companies in this regard is FEMSA Salud – GPF, which received the distinction of “Breastfeeding-Friendly Company” by the Ministry of Public Health in 2018. To date, the company has installed 130 lactation stations in its offices and Points of Sale nationwide, providing welcoming and adequate spaces for its more than 50 collaborators, who are currently living this stage.
In addition, the company promotes initiatives that provide greater comfort to nursing mothers. It offers employees flexibility to take breaks to breastfeed or express milk during their work, without negatively affecting their work responsibilities. On the other hand, it conducts informative talks and workshops to sensitize employees about the importance of breastfeeding, psychologically and emotionally supporting working mothers to facilitate the breastfeeding process and return to work after maternity leave.
Within the framework of the “Breastfeeding Week”, which is celebrated from August 1 to 7, this year under the slogan Breastfeed and work: let’s make it possible! FEMSA Salud – GPF reaffirms its commitment to support and educate its collaborators about breastfeeding 365 days a year, allowing them to function in a safe place and free from any type of discrimination, to take care of the nutrition of their little ones with peace of mind.
Dr. Erika Hernández, the company’s occupational doctor, recommends a delayed lactation strategy as a solution for working mothers. This practice involves collecting breast milk during certain moments of the workday and storing it in suitable containers, maintaining the cold chain to later give the milk to the baby in a bottle. To carry out this process effectively, it is essential that the mother pay attention to the moments in which she produces more milk and take advantage of the times allocated for the extraction of milk in the lactation rooms, spaces specially designed for this purpose.
The doctor. she also emphasizes the importance of patience during this process, as the baby may have some difficulty adjusting to the new way of feeding. However, with time and the right support, both of you will adjust and make a successful transition.
In addition to these recommendations, Hernández points out that it is essential for the mother to organize her time and have a workplace that provides her with all the necessary benefits to carry out deferred breastfeeding. Company support in this regard is not only valuable to working mothers, but also beneficial to employers. Studies show that companies with breastfeeding support programs save, on average, $3 for every dollar invested. In addition, implementing a policy to support breastfeeding in the workplace leads to reduced employee turnover, higher productivity due to lower dropout rates, and decreased absenteeism due to health problems such as mastitis.
Finally, if the mother decides to reconcile work with breastfeeding through this strategy, she will be able to provide adequate nutrition for her little one, reflecting in optimal growth and development, favoring the well-being of the family and the success of the company. At FEMSA Salud – GPF, 70% of all employees are women, which is why it constantly promotes actions that improve their quality of life. For more than 90 years of experience, the company has contributed to the care of the community, with values, experience, technology and knowledge in the pharmaceutical retail industry, contributing to the development of the country and the well-being of all Ecuadorian mothers.