Philips AVENT’s Mommy’s Expressing Lounge Initiative calls on corporate offices to sign up for a partnership programme where Philips can help design ideal expressing spaces Video Credit: Sonia Shah | Logan Fish

Effective workplace

Mothers whose jobs offer lactation support report increased loyalty, higher job satisfaction, and better productivity

Not long ago, new mothers didn’t have many choices when it came to expressing breast milk at work.

They would sit crouched in bathroom stalls, struggling with pumps on their laps. Or they were crammed in a storage closet, or a car. Some would use a dusty storeroom, while others simply gave up breastfeeding all together.

Working women, who are supported at the workplace, are likely to be more committed and happier at work Image Credit: Getty

Employers are now increasingly making efforts to create a better work environment for women, which includes protecting the maternity rights of women. Having a clean, secure place to pump milk — whether it’s a curtained-off corner, a high-walled cubicle with a comfy chair and a lock or a fully equipped expressing lounge — is another step in that direction.

And Philips Avent is the go-to resource for companies that don’t still have the room, or the time to create a relaxed spot for mothers to pump. The company, which has implemented over 150 corporate expressing rooms in the Middle East and Turkey, has introduced the Mommy’s Expressing Lounge Initiative and encourages corporate offices to sign up for a partnership programme where Philips can help design ideal expressing spaces and extend their support to new mothers.

Ideally, a workplace should have a secured, private room for a mother to express in comfort.

- Chris Watts, Marketing Manager – Mother and Childcare, Philips Middle East

“Ideally, a workplace should have a secured, private room for a mother to express in comfort,” says Chris Watts, Marketing Manager – Mother and Childcare, Philips Middle East. “There should also should be a fridge for hygienic storage of the milk, comfortable chairs to sit and express, and a sink to clean the products after use. Philips Avent is supporting with providing sterilisers, electrical breast pumps and a range of breast feeding accessories such as breast pads to participating companies.”

Increase in productivity

Studies have shown that businesses that support mothers who choose to breastfeed their infants experience improved employee morale, increased employee retention, greater productivity, lower absenteeism, and are much more likely to return to work after childbirth.

I’m quite grateful to my company for giving me peace at work by providing this dedicated nursing space to new mothers along with the most stress-free Philips facilities that kept me going.

- Mehak Taneja, Relationship Manager, Gulf News - Publishing Sales

Mehak Taneja, Relationship Manager, Gulf News - Publishing Sales, was thrilled when her company Gulf News, converted one of its spare rooms into a nursing room with all the required facilities and comfort.

“I’m quite grateful to my company for giving me peace at work by providing this dedicated nursing space to new mothers along with the most stress-free Philips facilities that kept me going,” says Taneja.

The culture that we have here in Nestle has always supported women to comfortably breastfeed.

- Dana Sidani, Regional Customer and eBusiness Manager, Nestlé Middle East

Today companies are realising that providing top-notch facilities for new mums is a premium perk that sets them apart from competitors. Nestle Middle East has ensured 100 per cent implementation of comfort rooms at all its offices and factories.

“The culture that we have here in Nestle has always supported women to comfortably breastfeed,” says Dana Sidani, Regional Customer and eBusiness Manager, Nestlé Middle East. “This facility really helped me ease back to work.”

Breastfeeding takes very little time out of an employee’s day and lasts for such a small period over a woman’s entire career. When working women are supported and given some flexibility at this special time in their lives, they are likely to be more committed and happier at work. It's a win-win situation that builds loyal employees, gives babies the best source of nourishment available, and benefits society as a whole. Put simply, it's just the right thing to do.

If your company would like to sign up for the corporate expressing room partnership programme, simply email expressinglounge@philips.com or visit the Philips AVENT UAE Facebook page.