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Return to Office --> Bad for Breastfeeding

This week I was already having big feelings about someone close to me choosing to quit her job when the role that was promised to be remote indefinitely, suddenly...wasn't...and she was faced with the prospect of a combined 2 hour daily commute away from her young daughter. Then I read Time's piece "As People Return to Offices, It's Back to Misery for American's Working Moms" and realized she is one of many moms, particularly those with young children, facing this situation. There is proof at the individual and aggregate level that remote work does not have to negatively impact productivity, and the fact that this is not enough for some employers to honor existing remote roles, is frustrating.

A law-firm associate in Chicago who had a baby during the pandemic told me that she got three bonuses during the pandemic because of how much she got done while working remotely, and her experience is borne out by data showing that people are productive at home. (

I'm especially worried about working breastfeeding moms. Being able to pump at home, or do some feedings at home with a caregiver there, can be a game changer for how long a baby is able to breastfeed, especially in those crucial first six months. When you add a commute each way, a trek to the pumping room multiple times/day, possibly changing into a pumping bra... you get the idea. To be able to do this in the comfort of one's own home and reduce the number of pumping sessions needed because the time away from baby is less, is a true gift for a breastfeeding mom.

Moms get s*** done. Alienating them from the workforce seems like a bad idea all around. For employers who are genuinely curious about how to support and retain new moms, including those who are making and delivering perfect nutrition for tiny humans, let's talk!



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