Share Resources and Information
- Start an internal infant formula resource. Have employees indicate what formula they use, and ask your team to keep their eyes peeled for it. Share this resource throughout the company—on the intranet, on a Slack channel, through an ERG. HealthyChildren.org has put together a comprehensive and helpful resource.
- Share Milk Bank information. While most milk banks are set up to support the most fragile and vulnerable infants, some may have a small community supply available. A list of accredited milk banks can be found here.
Provide Comprehensive Lactation Support
In the face of the formula shortage, many parents who wouldn’t normally decide to initiate breast/chestfeeding may do so in an effort to bridge the formula shortage. Others may be trying to extend their breast/chestfeeding journeys or even re-lactate.
- It all starts with paid leave. For parents who are initiating breast/chestfeeding, paid leave helps ensure that they are able to establish feeding relationships with their babies and still support their families financially.
- Communicate your company’s lactation policy loudly and clearly so employees are empowered to pump when they need to.
- Provide paid time and a comfortable, clean, secure space to pump at the office, that isn’t a bathroom.
- Provide hospital-grade breast pumps in all lactation rooms. For those required to be onsite at work, hospital-grade breast pumps have larger motors and better suction than personal pumps, making for faster and more productive pumping sessions, while helping them maintain their overall breast milk supply.
- Provide employer-sponsored lactation consultations to assist in initiating and extending lactation as well as to support those who are attempting to re-lactate.
- Offer Milk Stork breast milk shipping to families using gestational surrogates or adoptive families. Many gestational surrogates and birth parents will provide breast milk to babies after birth. Milk Stork offers several solutions to support recurring breast milk shipping from surrogates and birth parents to families.
- Let parents of infants and toddlers work from home. Parents need work flexibility to take care of their babies and toddlers at this time. Some may also need to hop in their cars at a moment's notice to source formula, while others may be working to extend their breast/chestfeeding journeys during this shortage.
- Allow employees to opt out of business travel or offer Milk Stork breast milk shipping to support business travel away from their baby.
Peer-to-Peer Milk Sharing
Many families have resorted to peer-to-peer milk sharing during the formula shortage. Some practice peer-to-peer milk sharing with their friends, families, and colleagues—others rely on regional communities such as Human Milk 4 Human Babies (HM4HB) or Eats of Feets. Peer-to-peer milk sharing is informal and unregulated. So, while it might be more accessible to parents, it is not without risk. Read our article on What You Need to Know About Milk Sharing During the Formula Shortage for more information.
Milk Stork encourages everyone considering milk sharing to consult with their pediatrician and follow the 4 Pillars of Safe Milk Sharing.
If you are a Milk Stork client and have any questions, please contact email@example.com.