Dubai, UAE – Philips AVENT, the company’s Mother and Childcare brand, has launched a nationwide initiative to encourage employers to become more baby-friendly by implementing a space for breastfeeding mothers returning to work from maternity leave for the purpose of expressing their milk. Philips AVENT has collaborated with multidivisional conglomerate Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group to help companies outfit breast pumping rooms in their offices through a one-stop shop solution. The initiative is part of its commitment to improve the lives of 3 billion people by 2025, and Royal Philips commitment to the ‘Every Women Every Child’ UN initiative.
Newly released research conducted by Philips and presented in an intimate dialogue with leading companies today highlighted that employment often presents a barrier to breastfeeding among new moms. Forty nine percent of working mothers stated that they lack the support of their employer to express milk at the work place. Nearly two thirds of mothers claimed they were not aware that they are allowed to take breastfeeding and pumping breaks at work, and only 23% of these women actually take them, highlighting the many challenges faced by new moms in the work place.
“At Philips AVENT we believe that mothers, newborn babies and children represent the well-being of a society and its potential for the future. We are committed to supporting returning mothers and helping them to give their babies the best start in life. By launching the ‘Mommy’s Expressing Lounge’ initiative we address challenges women face with breastfeeding, specifically fitting it in around work commitments. With research showing that 69% of women do not feel they have adequate or even existent breastfeeding facilities at work, the issue is a pressing one,” said Vincenzo Ventricelli, Vice President Personal Health Philips Middle East & Turkey.
By encouraging companies to sign up to ‘Mommy’s Expressing Lounges’, Philips Avent seeks to make it easier and more comfortable for mothers to express their milk in a private hygienic space in the workplace, helping mothers to breastfeed for longer. The initiative takes into account both World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines and UAE federal law, which respectively encourage and mandate moms to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months and continue to breastfeed until the child is two years.
“We want to provide companies the support they need to create breastfeeding friendly workplaces which includes having a hygienic, private and comfortable place to express their breast milk. Having a supportive working environment will help mothers in their work-life balance which will also improve productivity in the workplace,” added Ventricelli.
Commenting on the initiative Muna Al Gurg, Director Retail said, “Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group acknowledges that employee healthcare must encompass both physical and psychological aspects. We are an inclusive organization where employee welfare is paramount including that of new mothers. We have set up a dedicated area for nursing mothers to facilitate breastfeeding. As part of its CSR outreach, the Group can now assist corporates wishing to replicate this initiative with suitable products.”
“Research indicates that both mothers and their infants enjoy better health through breastfeeding. A positive, accepting attitude from senior management, supervisors, and coworkers helps nursing mothers feel confident in their ability to continue working,” Muna concluded.
As part of the Mommy’s Expressing Lounge initiative, Philips encourages corporate offices to sign up for a partnership program where Philips along with Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group can help design ideal expressing spaces and extend their support to moms. Philips and Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group will offer support to companies wishing to install expressing spaces, in order to encourage widespread adoption of the initiative.
To be part of the Philips AVENT initiative, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or log on to www.philips.com.ae or check the Philips AVENT UAE Facebook fan page.