IBM To Offer Breast Milk Delivery Services For Traveling Moms
The lack of women working in the tech industry is often widely noted, but IBM’s new changes may have more members of our gender flocking to the computer company. On Monday, IBM announced it will begin shipping working mothers’ breast milk home when they are away on business trips.
Going back to work as a mother who has chosen to breast feed is already an arduous task, with mothers often telling stories of having to pump in the car just to be sure they stay on schedule, and leaving the state is a whole other ball game. Once in the airport, many mothers often find no place to pump (cue unfortunate small bathroom stall) and have to toss the milk.
It seems as though IBM is understanding the lengths women go in order to keep on a nursing schedule and are helping employees transition back to work while still supporting their new addition to the family. Most women decline offers to travel while nursing, but IBM’s move could change that.
Barbara Brickmeier, vice president of benefits at IBM, spoke with The Huffington Post on the company’s decision.
“As long as there is one mother who finds this beneficial, I don’t have any threshold of usage of whether we continue the program or not,” said Brickmeier, referring to not knowing how many of its 370,000 employees would take advantage of the program.
The offer allows new moms to no longer worry about their airport travels and no longer “pump and dump,” which is the process where women who are away from home for a long period of time must still pump breast milk and then toss it.
With the win of Obamacare, companies nationwide must offer a private space and a realistic amount of time for nursing mothers to pump. Currently, Transportation Security Administration agents do allow mothers to bring breast milk home in their carry-on luggage but that was not always the case.
IBM has led many progressive initiatives to secure the health, happiness and well-being of its new mothers as of late, likely because 29 percent of the company’s workers are women, which is a large number for the tech industry. The company also offers 6 weeks of paid maternity leave.
Working moms, would you take advantage of the offer or prefer not to travel while nursing completely?