Breastfeeding Women and Work: How can Business Make it Work?

August 1-7 2015

World Breastfeeding Week (1-7 August 2015), is an annual event celebrated in more than 170 countries. It highlights the critical importance of breastfeeding for children across the globe.  Breastfeeding gives children the healthiest start in life and is one of the simplest, smartest and most cost-effective ways we have of ensuring that all children survive and thrive.

The theme of this year’s World Breastfeeding Week is ‘Women and work – Let’s make it work’ which emphasizes the need for better support systems and policies to enable working mothers to breastfeed. Whether a woman is working in the formal, non-formal or home setting, it is necessary that she is empowered in claiming her and her baby’s right to breastfeed.

In celebration of the occasion, the UN Foundation hosted a webinar in collaboration with experts from the private sector and the global development community, focused on Supporting Innovations that Enable Working Women to Breastfeed. Speakers from Royal Philips, MDG Health Alliance, Dr. Monk, IBM, UNICEF, PATH, and the Wellbeing Foundation Africa discussed new approaches to support working women to breastfeed. For read here about the outcomes from the event.

Much has been achieved in recent years to support women in combining breastfeeding and work. At the workplace level, companies are adopting actions to ensure breastfeeding or mother-friendly environments including awards for breastfeeding-friendly employers, as well as greater awareness on working women’s rights to breastfeed.

29 SUN Business Network members have committed to putting good nutrition at the core of business practice, including Ajinomoto, Britannia, Cargill and Unilever. In particular, these businesses will by June 2016, improve policies for maternal health including support for breastfeeding mothers.

The Business Network has also developed a toolkit of best practice for nutrition in the workforce, explaining nutrition policies including maternity protection and breastfeeding support. It offers examples of successful programmes in developed and developing countries, such as Alive & Thrive (A&T)’s efforts to improve infant and young child feeding practices in Vietnam.

Promotion of breastfeeding support provides benefits to both babies and mothers: breastfeeding prevents infant death, childhood illness and non-communicable diseases, while supporting brain development and protecting maternal health. It also makes good economic sense. Women who have adequate maternity benefits value their employers, leading to increased productivity, job satisfaction and loyalty.

The SUN Business Network supports businesses to make their workplace a friendlier place for all mothers who wish to breastfeed.

Breastfeeding Women and Work: How can Business Make it Work?

August 1-7 2015

World Breastfeeding Week (1-7 August 2015), is an annual event celebrated in more than 170 countries. It highlights the critical importance of breastfeeding for children across the globe.  Breastfeeding gives children the healthiest start in life and is one of the simplest, smartest and most cost-effective ways we have of ensuring that all children survive and thrive.

The theme of this year’s World Breastfeeding Week is ‘Women and work – Let’s make it work’ which emphasizes the need for better support systems and policies to enable working mothers to breastfeed. Whether a woman is working in the formal, non-formal or home setting, it is necessary that she is empowered in claiming her and her baby’s right to breastfeed.

In celebration of the occasion, the UN Foundation hosted a webinar in collaboration with experts from the private sector and the global development community, focused on Supporting Innovations that Enable Working Women to Breastfeed. Speakers from Royal Philips, MDG Health Alliance, Dr. Monk, IBM, UNICEF, PATH, and the Wellbeing Foundation Africa discussed new approaches to support working women to breastfeed. For read here about the outcomes from the event.

Much has been achieved in recent years to support women in combining breastfeeding and work. At the workplace level, companies are adopting actions to ensure breastfeeding or mother-friendly environments including awards for breastfeeding-friendly employers, as well as greater awareness on working women’s rights to breastfeed.

29 SUN Business Network members have committed to putting good nutrition at the core of business practice, including Ajinomoto, Britannia, Cargill and Unilever. In particular, these businesses will by June 2016, improve policies for maternal health including support for breastfeeding mothers.

The Business Network has also developed a toolkit of best practice for nutrition in the workforce, explaining nutrition policies including maternity protection and breastfeeding support. It offers examples of successful programmes in developed and developing countries, such as Alive & Thrive (A&T)’s efforts to improve infant and young child feeding practices in Vietnam.

Promotion of breastfeeding support provides benefits to both babies and mothers: breastfeeding prevents infant death, childhood illness and non-communicable diseases, while supporting brain development and protecting maternal health. It also makes good economic sense. Women who have adequate maternity benefits value their employers, leading to increased productivity, job satisfaction and loyalty.

The SUN Business Network supports businesses to make their workplace a friendlier place for all mothers who wish to breastfeed.

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