United Nations Foundation webinar shares stories from the private sector about breastfeeding support
On 6 August 2015, as part of World Breastfeeding Week, the Untied Nations 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 many women all over the world, breastfeeding is something that they want to do, have the capacity to do, but are currently not free to do, as breastfeeding is very often incompatible with work.” – Leith Greenslade, Vice-Chair, MDG Health Alliance
The webinar highlighted work that companies are currently doing to support their breastfeeding employees.
Dr. Lydia Campbell, Director of Wellbeing Services at IBM, a technology company, spoke about IBM’s ground-breaking new milk delivery policy that enables its female employees to ship their milk home to their babies in a cooling mechanism provided by IBM. IBM covers all costs associated with milk expression equipment, shipping, and storing breast milk. IBM illustrates how companies can support their breastfeeding employees rather than leaving the burden exclusively on women. It is hoped that other companies will follow this innovative model. The program launches in the United States in September with a larger global roll-out expected.
As part of Philips commitment to Every Woman Every Child, the company has been studying and supporting breastfeeding practices for women in Africa. The report identifies a number of major barriers to breastfeeding among working mothers in Nairobi and Accra. The report and its accompanying video look in depth at the challenges working women encounter, as well as possibilities for innovation in supporting women to breastfeed.
Evelyn Matiri from PATH Kenya and Felicity Okoku from the Wellbeing Foundation Africa welcomed the report and strongly endorsed the need for innovation to support working women in Africa to continue breastfeeding.
Click here to learn more about 2015 World Breastfeeding Week activities across SUN Countries and Networks.
Every Woman Every Child
Every Woman Every Child (EWEC) is a movement that puts into action the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, which calls on all partners to unite and take coordinated action. EWEC aims to address the major health challenges facing women and children around the world. Supporting efforts for reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health is critical for scaling up nutrition, particularly specific interventions and nutrition sensitive approaches that improve the health of women and children. The next Global Strategy will be launched at the UN General Assembly in September 2015 with a draft five-year implementation plan and will be proposed for formal endorsement at the World Health Assembly in May 2016. Learn more about EWEC.