Business Benefits


 Supporting your breastfeeding employees saves money. Here’s how:


  1. Breastfeeding employees have lower absenteeism
    That’s because breastfed infants are healthier than artificially fed infants! Human milk boosts an infant’s immune system and helps protect them from common childhood illnesses, and infections. Infectious or sick infants are also more likely to be excluded from childcare. Parents of breastfed infants typically spend more time at work rather than taking leave to care for sick children.

    Business Savings
    • One day absences to care for sick children occur at least three times more often for mothers of artificially fed infants.1

  2. Investing in a breastfeeding friendly workplace programme can yield substantial dividends for the company
    Companies throughout the world have found that implementing a programme that supports breastfeeding employees has a positive impact on their bottom line with lower staff turnover rates. Employees are more likely to return to work following childbirth when their workplace provides a supportive environment for continued breastfeeding. Being able to keep experienced staff lowers the costs a company would otherwise incur in recruitment and training.

    Business Savings
    • NZ Telstra Clear estimated $75,000 in savings for each high performing employee who returned to work after maternity leave. 2
    • Studies of several companies in the USA with lactation support programmes showed a retention rate of between 83-94% , compared to the national average of 59%.3

  3. Higher productivity and loyalty
    Employees of companies with family friendly policies and practices including breastfeeding strategies, consistently report improved morale, and better satisfaction with their jobs. Plus the employers report higher productivity and loyalty, greater shareholder return and positive public relations. Employees who are engaged with the organisation demonstrate significantly higher discretionary effort than employees in organisations with low levels of engagement.

    Business Savings
    • A large scale study found that organisations with high level of employee engagement demonstrate 20% discretionary effort compared to 3% in organisations with a low level of employee engagement. Further, that improved workforce commitment results in increased performance from 20% to 57%.4


See section on Business Case for more information on the savings and benefits of being a breastfeeding friendly workplace.

1 Cohen. R et al (1995) Comparison of maternal absenteeism and infant illness rates among breastfeeding and formula feeding women in two corporations. American Journal of Health Promotion, 10 (2) 148-153.
2 EEO Trust (2001) New Zealand’s Best Employers in Work and Life 2001.
3 Mutual of Omaha (2001) Prenatal and lactation education reduces newborn health care costs . Omaha. NE Mutual of Omaha
4 CLC Employment Engagement Survey reported in Worklife Balance EEO Trust 2007



Also see: The Business Case for Breastfeeding 2008. US Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Maternal and Health Bureau