• National Institutes of Health – Bethesda, MD

    Employer’s Perspective:

    At the National Institutes of Health, we care about the health and wellbeing of our employees and understand that returning to work after having a new baby is always difficult, especially for women who choose to breastfeed. In fact, according to the Society for Human Resources Management, more than 30% of new mothers give up breastfeeding within seven weeks of returning to work because of significant breastfeeding within the workplace. In an effort to remove those barriers, the NIH Nursing Mothers Program provides services that address many of the concerns that future and current nursing mothers have. Our program provides the emotional support and worksite assistance nursing mothers need to make the return to work less stressful.

    Employee’s Reaction:

    When I found out I was going to be a mother, I was pretty certain that I wanted to breastfeed my child. I became even more convinced that breastfeeding was the right option for me when I attended a prenatal breastfeeding class provided by the National Institutes of Health’s Nursing Mothers Program. An experienced and competent lactation consultant addressed my concerns and she assured me that they would be in touch after I had my child. Several days after my son Tyler was born, I received a telephone call from Jane Balkam, a lactation consultant from the NIH Nursing Mothers Program. She answered all of my questions and gave me the encouragement I needed. Many times I corresponded with Jane and discussed my concerns. I was so grateful for this free and invaluable service! When I returned back to work, I was so relieved that I could use the lactation room. I did not need to haul my own breast pump from my car. I could pump in a private place and not be interrupted. I appreciate the continued support the NIH Nursing Mothers Program gives me. I feel lucky to work here and I am not sure if I would have breastfed for as long as I have (six months and going strong)!

    Kerstin Haskell