*We apologize for any typos, misspellings or incorrect grammar. Our transcript is auto-generated by software that’s trying its best, just like all of us.*
Hey everybody, welcome back to the Milk Minute Podcast. We’re here. We’re doing it. We’re excited about it. We’re starting breastfeeding friendly businesses, or at this point, we’re maintaining them.
And we wanted to talk about what that looks like. Absolutely. And I recently just signed a lease on a brand new space for my business that is, like, very public, right in town. It’s a big step for me. And I’m actually really excited to, like, put a big sign up front that says this is a breastfeeding friendly space, like, please stop in if you need to feed your baby, change their diaper, etc.
Yeah, and they’ll feel that too, you know, so that’s great that you’re advertising that or you’re going to be advertising that, but I have people that literally stop by and they’re like, Can I just change my baby in here really quick? And you can tell they’ve been in the car for 45 minutes, stuck in traffic, baby’s got like a blowout.
And honestly, it is so nice that they feel comfortable coming here. So we want to talk about how do you make people feel that way? Because, you know, it’s so deserved. How can we do that as business owners? And not just owners of breastfeeding businesses, any business. Like, really. Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely.
First, though, I kind of wanted to ask you, Heather, like, do you have an update about your business? Because I feel like things have been changing and growing, and you’ve just been really, really busy, and we haven’t had a chance to catch up about it. Yeah. So I recently retained a lawyer to help me fight some insurance companies that aren’t paying me.
So, we’re playing bigger this week. Additionally, I met with financial advisors to get retirement setup for my employees, because we are actively recruiting a family nurse practitioner to or a women’s health nurse practitioner to do women’s health and add that service because I’m doing it anyway during my lactation visits.
But I would really like to be able to separate that off so people can have consistency of care. So like you’re seeing me for lactation. But if you need your thyroid managed, if you need your mental health medication managed, you can go see This person like in the office right next to me. That is a great idea.
I, I’m so excited to like, I mean, what, what you’re doing, which is amazing in such so business savvy, but also so good for the community where you’re, you’re observing what’s happening in your business, you’re seeing what people’s needs are and then growing to meet those rather than to meet some like arbitrary goal.
Right. Well, I have a lot of people that keep seeing me for lactation beyond their six week postpartum OB visit, and then they have an issue, but their OB is like, you’re not an OB patient anymore. You’re beyond your six weeks, but they don’t have primary care set up. And then they call to get it set up.
And they’re like, we’ll see you in six months. Because we’re that busy. And I’m like, well, that’s good news for me. So if you’re that if you’re that busy, we’ll just catch all that overflow. No problem. And it’s nice because their kids are familiar with the space. They’ve already been here, especially the siblings.
And they know that it’s like child safe and friendly and clean. And, you know, I want people to feel good and happy when they leave here. But whether or not they got a pelvic exam and a pap smear, I want them to feel good. Yeah, no, I think it’s great. And yes, like most of that is all like within your scope as a CNM, but you’re one person.
And it would be great also to expand the scope of practice beyond that to what an NP can provide too. So that is incredible. I’m really excited. I hope you find a good fit. That’s, that’s, I know that’s challenging. Thank you. I mean, there’s perks to working with us. We’re pretty cool. It’s a small team. It’s a small team, but it’s a really beautiful office.
And now that I’ve got the retirement set up, we do have some benefits to offer. And we’re, we’re doing four day a week schedule. I know it’s wild. That’s impressive. I, and you’re like super pregnant. Yeah, I’m pretty damn pregnant. So if you guys know anybody that would like to move to West Virginia or lives in West Virginia, who’s a family nurse practitioner or women’s health nurse practitioner send them my way.
Or send them to Indeed. com because that’s where our job application is posted. So lots of things. I just feel like I’m, I’m, I have my big girl pants on literally and metaphorically. You’re just like pulling them up higher every day. Every damn day. Yeah, I’m getting really good at sending like kind of aggressive emails where I’m just like, no, I’m not doing that.
And you can talk to my lawyer. You’re not going to proceed that way. I’m not going to wait another 30 days. Sir. So here we are fighting for our right to party in healthcare. Nice. That’s awesome. I am. When I was like, just kind of, I was like measuring my office space today, you know, cause now I’m going to like scramble to make it functional as soon as possible.
It’s next door to a hair salon and they like ran over and looked in the window and they were like, are you, are you renting? It was really sweet. So they’ll be nice neighbors to have. I’m excited to at least like get my one woman show on the road here. Oh yeah. And maybe expand someday. I don’t know. I have lots of thoughts.
Like, so now that I have this like public space, what I want to do, like obviously first goal by the end of the month, I want to see all my existing clients there. That’s a big goal, friend. It is, it is. But, by the end of the year, I’m really hoping to have a grand opening, have a postpartum support group that meets weekly there, and I’m hoping, at least by then, to have submitted some grants for funding so that I can do Like a weekly free walk in prenatal and postpartum clinic, which you know I’ve participated in those before with other organizations where it’s like you walk in, you know, sign your waiver You get a visit you get your printed records and you walk out and then you can take them with you and say like yeah I did have some prenatal care You know You get some reassurance that things are fine or that you really need to go to the hospital or you get your walk in lactation visit or whatever else it is and just You know, you have, it’s easy access to, like, entryway healthcare.
Yeah, that’s a great idea. I, this phase that you’re about to go into is the phase where you end up having scabs just on the front of your kneecaps from kneeling and putting so much IKEA furniture together. No, I, I’m, I’m about to feel, I’m like, right now I’m trying to Facebook marketplace my way to the top, you know, I’m like girl bossing through that.
I’ve got like 15 messages sent to people being like, so this couch, does it smell like smoke? Can I come sniff it? Is there husky hair all over it? You know, so I’m going to go through all of that for a while and then I’m just going to go to Ikea and. Fill our truck and trailer and then I’m going to do my best.
And I plan to like paint a mural on the wall. So I’m going to be really busy. That’s fine. You’re just going to like quickly paint a mural. I am actually that will be the easy part of all this for me. Well, listen, my scabs just now healed up from doing all my Ikea furniture, but I’d be willing to strap some knee pads on and I’ll bring my Allen key and I’ll get to work on it for you.
Yeah, like don’t you have like 40 little Allen wrenches now that you put, they’re like a badge of honor from Ikea. You know, truly, I have whatever size you want, babe, and I got hex keys, . Trust me, we’ll have this thing zip zop together in no time. . Awesome. Well, I’m excited that we’re both in this phase of growth and it’s also a little scary.
Yeah. Yeah. It’s like always the, the big squeeze right before the. The explosion? What am I talking about? That’s not, I don’t We’re just gonna move beyond that. Oh, I also wanted, I want to create a baby wearing lending library which I don’t actually know how to do right now other people do it, so I’m gonna like find people on the internet and email them and be like I see you do this, can you tell me how you are doing this?
I don’t know what that is, I’ve never heard of it. Yeah, so like a lot of these like, you know, care centers and places where it’s like kind of a community care they’ll have a baby wearing lending library where they have a bunch of carriers where you can try some before you buy them, or you can like rent them for a couple of months, or just for like an event, you know, since these are pretty durable goods, like the nice baby carriers, and they last for a really long time when they’re taken care of.
So, you know, some people charge for them, some people just like, Ask for a deposit and they give it back when you bring the carrier back. I think there’s a bunch of different ways to do it, but it’s a way to get these like very, very nice expensive carriers into people’s hands for short amounts of times when they need them without them having to spend like two and three and four hundred dollars.
Nice. I’ve never heard of that, and I think that’s a good idea. Yeah, and I have a bunch of them. Like, I have a ton of them. Yeah, I have, I have a bunch, too. And people have given me theirs, where they’re like, I don’t need this anymore, but it was 300. So, please take it and re gift it. And also, can I just call you out, because you are studying for your boards, too.
I, yeah, I know. I don’t, you know, I’m like, The level of nervous I have for that is so high, I kind of can’t talk about it. That’s why I brought it up. We’re gonna swing back around when I’ve passed. Okay, everyone send thoughts and prayers to Maureen for her NARM boards for her CPM license, which, or her CPM certification.
Very nervous, very excited. They live together in my bowels. Anyway, we are here to talk about business, so. We are going to take a really quick break. When we come back, we’re going to thank a Patreon, we’re going to have a question, and we’re going to hop right into our episode. All righty.
Imagine a world where you seek lactation care, and it’s easy, and someone greets you at the door, and they’re nice to you, and they give you a hot cup of tea, and let you sit on the couch and talk about all the issues, not just the breastfeeding issues. What a cozy fantasy. Is there anywhere that’s real? Oh, it’s real, girl.
It’s real, and I’ve been building it for quite a long time. My business is called Breastfeeding for Busy Moms, and me and every member of my team are trained in our three major tenets, which is accessibility, Kindness and personalization. If you wanna book a consult with Heather or anyone else on her team, you should head over to breastfeeding for busy moms.com.
We do accept some limited insurance and we’d be happy to walk you through it if you wanna give us a call. And that number’s on Google. So go sit on the cozy couch with Heather at breastfeeding for busy moms. Love you guys.
Alright, now that we’re back, I would like to quickly thank a patron this week. I’d like to thank Pam Mallory. She is a Dairy Queen, which we love. We’re super grateful that you joined our Patreon. Super thankful for your support and for everybody else out there. If you want to join us there, you can go to Patreon.
com slash milk minute podcast and find all kinds of cool stuff that we’ll give you. And Pam is the one that emailed just to be like, Hey, I just wanted to let you know I’m thinking about you and your pregnancy. Hope everything’s going well. And then asked a follow up question and we featured her in. a previous episode and then she joined.
I was like, Oh, I love this. This is we’re just building community. So Pam, thanks. Welcome. Happy to have you. Okay. We have a question today from Jessica on Facebook. Jessica says, can you take anti-nausea pills while breastfeeding? Hmm. The answer is like, depends what it is, right? Reminder that you have this information at your fingertips.
You can call the Infant Risk Helpline or you can check on LactMed by Googling like the medication name plus LactMed and it’ll bring it right up. It’s on the National Institute of Health’s website. But I thought, I thought I’d just go over some of the more common ones. Pepto Bismol is what a lot of people take for nausea.
You know, we used to have a lot more caution around this one. Kind of more recently, we’ve said, Mm, like it’s not our preferred med, but limited, like short term use just for an acute sickness should be fine. It’s an L3. And then Dramamine is another one people commonly take. That’s fine. That’s an L2. We don’t really have a lot of concerns about that.
And then if we’re looking at prescription medication, Zofran is going to be the most commonly prescribed, and that’s fine as well. My question is, why are you nauseous? It depends. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Why, I’m, I think, I don’t know about in this case, but you know, if it’s, if it’s something like food poisoning or something, yeah, like take your meds and we’ll get through it.
Yeah, actually, I kind of go the other way. If it’s food poisoning, get it all out. Don’t keep it in. I, you know, to an extent, right, we have to, like, regarding hydration too. That’s always my threshold. I’m like, okay, I can throw up a few times, but if it’s to the point where I can’t keep water down, like, that’s gotta stop.
Yeah, for sure. I, I will shove a Zofran up my own asshole to stop barfing long enough to, to get some hydration in before I go to the doctor. No, thank you. Yeah, no, absolutely. Anyway, on that note, we’re here to talk about business. Yeah, and not my butthole business. We’re talking about how to support your employees in lactation.
I haven’t slept in a while. You guys, this is what you’re getting today. So stop complaining. Okay. This is what it is. I’m here. I’m here for it. So I kind of wanted to split this episode into two parts. The, the first part being how to be a supportive business in terms of supporting your employees.
And then the second part being in terms of supporting customers and the community. Mm hmm. Yeah. And you know, I think we saw that women being a huge part of the workforce. Was actually a huge problem when the pandemic hit and all the women left the workforce because it was like, Well, you know what, you don’t support me anyway.
And this just got way harder. So goodbye. And our economy took a huge hit because of that. And so I think companies are rethinking How they interact and how they support their all of their employees, lactating, pregnant, childbearing age, all of it, just because you can’t lose people like that. Absolutely.
And currently the fastest growing segment of like our labor force here is women with infants and young children. And the majority of people who are employed while pregnant plan to return to work after. By the time their child is three months old, typically so there is a lot of incentive for businesses to get this right and getting it right reduces absenteeism.
It lowers health care costs. Like if you’re a business who has health care for your employees, it improves your employee productivity. better morale, better loyalty, you know, like it’s really worth the investment. It is. And I think we’ve also seen the latest research about working remotely. So a lot of people were like, fine, I’ll just get a remote job with my kids at home.
That’s not working for productivity. So we’re seeing a huge decrease in productivity overall because of that. So there’s another huge push for businesses to say, okay, how do we get these people back in here, but also Act like we also like their children and their families and that, you know, that their children are not a barrier for our success as a business.
Yeah, yeah. Because that’s not working either. Yeah. And you know, when we look at it from our perspective, one of the attractive things for me is that parents who work at supportive. Places are more likely to meet their breastfeeding goals and be satisfied with their jobs. And it’s frankly just the right thing to do.
Like, this is the morally correct road. And here’s what I have a better perspective on now as a business owner. A year is a blip on the timeline for business. So, I’m thinking five years ahead. And, you know, when I have an employee that is really good, That I’ve put a lot of time into training into they have a baby, and they’re breastfeeding, and they’re a shit show for like three months at least.
And that’s fine. Because in my mind, the investment that I’ve made in that person is so worth sticking it out because they’re not going to be breastfeeding forever. They’re not going to have 12 children, most likely that they’re going to breastfeed constantly and have running around the office. Most people have One to three children, that’s a limited period of time.
And then the loyalty that you show them during that tough, vulnerable time gets repaid 10 times over by not having the turnover and also having an employee that’s happy. Yeah. And, and parents are extremely valuable employees. Like they have very marketable skills that we learn from parenting, like they are people you want to retain and a successful program for your business is, is going to include not just a policy that supports breastfeeding, but it’s going to include like flexible scheduling options, sufficient break times, things like that.
So I want to kind of get into those nitty gritty details, you know, if you’re listening and you’re like, Oh wow, never thought about this. You know, I’m starting my own business, or I’ve had it, you know, I didn’t really think about it until I got pregnant. Where do I start? We’re gonna, we’re gonna tell you.
And so I, I see here that you have written in our notes company policies that support breastfeeding. Okay, I go back and forth on this one. Because if you put it on paper, then you’re beholden to it and it’s harder to change it. Whereas I kind of feel like each employee has their own individual need.
And I’ve seen so many times where bigger corporations have these policies, but not everybody fits directly into those policies. Yeah, but you have to have a policy when you’re a bigger company. You do. You do. You know, and, and you can change this to meet your needs, but I think having policy also protects your employees in many ways.
And it doesn’t have to look the same for every company, but let’s, I’ll, we’ll get to that later. I’ve got that later. Okay, I have more things to say, but you know, I think most of us are going to be small business. Owner’s listening to this, I would assume. So I’m going to I don’t know. You know, and I think, like, I’m hoping, too, that people who are employees will listen to this and be like, oh, my company did none of this.
I’m going to bring these steps to my company and say, like, hey, this is what you need to do. Yeah. So where would they start if they are that person? Yeah. Any person, employee, employer, you have to start with the law. There are federal and state laws that protect breastfeeding employees, and that, meeting that, is the bare minimum, okay?
Like, complying with the law is the minimum that you have to do, end of story. And I think that’s a good place to start, because those are pretty well written, there’s, there’s really good PDFs about it on Pregnantatwork. org, like very succinct, tells you what you need to do. And so part of that is going to be providing a lactation space, and I have a little addendum to that that says and celebrate and elevate this space.
Like, this is the key to making this Yeah, because everyone’s been in the saddest lactation room of all time, where the company is like, Yep, we did the bare minimum and begrudgingly, here you go. Have this lactation room with this broken sink. It’s also 45 degrees in here. Good luck getting your nipples out and expressing milk like that.
And it’s not clean. And the rocking chair is broken. And you’re like, Oh, thank you so much. Right, right, exactly. You’re like, this is like a quarter step above a bathroom. Thank you. Yeah, feeling special. And really, especially for like larger companies, but even smaller… You know, smaller spaces, like, it’s not too difficult to find a space that even could be used part time for lactation, right?
But the things we’re looking for that would be clean, adequate temperature control. Having an outlet and a sink is great, having a fridge is great. It needs to be comfortable. Like, if you’re standing in the lactation space that you’re creating for your employees and you’re like, I don’t want to be here, that’s not good.
That’s not adequate. You know, like you, you, you want to look at it and be like, Oh, it’ll be a nice place to like, come take a break. I like it. And also like a lamp would be great. Yeah. And like having a mirror, putting up decorations, you know, if you really want to be super supportive, like buy some, you know, Ziploc bags and pump cleaning wipes and, you know, paper towels and stuff like that.
And just keep it stocked. Because your employees are going to be pumping, they’re going to forget things and they will be so grateful if they look in the cabinet and there are pump cleaning wipes and there’s water bottles and a little note from you that says like, you know, you’re doing great. Yeah, I remember pumping in the lactation room on labor and delivery as a nurse.
And it was the saddest room. It had a broken fridge that, like, it was so tiny. It was barely even a closet. I used the broken fridge as a table for my pump because there was no other table. And then the sink was, like, the handles you could basically spin around three times before the sink turned on. And, yeah, and it was just fluorescent lighting.
So it’s like fluorescent lighting all day as a nurse. And then you go into the lactation room to relax and try to express milk. And it’s… You’re there is a mirror, but you’re staring at yourself in fluorescent lighting. The whole time you’re sitting there next every blemish jammed up next to this refrigerator.
Just staring at yourself. Like I felt like I could see the seventh layer of my soul by the time I was done expressing milk. And I was like, this room is a horror show. Like I cannot stay here any longer. And it’s really like small things like that, that do not cost a lot of money and do not take a lot of time.
They just take a little bit of care, like tremendously affect employee morale and loyalty and things like that. Like because nobody, here’s the thing, nobody likes to pump, right? Like we’re, we’re not enjoying these breaks. We’re like, I can’t believe I have to go stick this machine to my nipples again. And.
Making an environment where when your employees go to do that, they can feel relaxed, they can efficiently express their milk, they can store it safely, and then they can feel confident that when they come back, like their stuff’s gonna be there, their milk’s gonna be there, all of that. You know that that’s, that feels really good.
That makes sure employees want to stay at your. Workplace. Yeah. Can I say one more thing about this lactation room? They had a plaque on the wall about how they were breastfeeding friendly. Celebrating themselves. Not me. They’re celebrating themselves doing such a bang up job. And I was like, this is a joke.
I cannot. So if you’re listening to this, you know, obviously it’s like some man went in there and they were like, well, we got to put up the plaque that I earned. Getting us breastfeeding friendly. No, for real though. Yeah. Okay. I, I want to swing back to policy because I, I think we’re coming at it from different angles.
I’m really thinking of bigger companies, right? And I’m thinking of like employee rights. And I think creating a supportive policy and putting it in writing in that case is really important. However, this doesn’t have to be a blanket policy. This can be something that you do with each employee when they’re pregnant.
And you say, Hey, like. Why don’t you come in? We’re going to have a meeting and we’re going to write your lactation policy. You know, and we’re going to talk about your needs and make sure like I have them down so that I can be a supportive employer for those small businesses, right? Because like we, we really do need to make sure that we’re all on the same page somehow about this.
And for big businesses, it’s got to be a policy because it has to be something that you can have on paper in hand that to defend yourself with as an employee, right? And it has to be something then that you can send around to everybody, thousands, hundreds, whoever, so that every single employee can be educated on the policy and the consequences for not following it.
And you can see why big corporations would not want to have that policy because it does not protect the business owner, it protects the employee. Yeah, and personally, I think, you know, if businesses are writing these for the first time, they should be asking employees for feedback to create buy in, right?
When you do that, you again, like, increase loyalty among your employees. So, here’s my perspective, because if I had Three out of three of my employees all breastfeeding at the same time and they were all doing whatever they needed to do, or, or even the policy that we all created together while they were pregnant.
My business might not actually be able to run. So really, and then like no one has a job. So if you’re running a really small business, the way I’m kind of approaching it is, I’m not going to put this on paper because none of my policies are actually on paper because we’re still feeling it out. And I don’t want to put myself in a position where I have to be beholden to my policies at the detriment of my doors closing, you know.
We have to have a two way communication about your journey. Like, how’s it going? What you need in the beginning might not be what you need a year from now if you still choose to pump for your one year old. And so my thing is, if it’s getting to the point where your employee has to take Seven breaks a day to go pump to keep their milk supply up.
I’m going to have a conversation with them and be like, what do you need? I feel like this is honestly not working for you or for me. And that’s okay. Like, we just have to change this. So I don’t want to have to constantly edit policies just to keep my doors open. I mean, policies are policy. You can really change them at any time.
You have a unique, you know, you have a unique situation though. One is that you, like, are literally in the business of breastfeeding. And you have the knowledge to be responsive. You know what I mean? So like, and, and a business of like five to ten people is not going to have the same needs as a giant corporation.
And I think there’s a lot of room then within that to, to do what works, you know? Yeah, I think so too. I think though that yes, I’m a breastfeeding business, but I think normalizing breastfeeding In general, it’s not just like breastfeeding and breastfeed in public. Make it more normal. It’s like, talk about it.
Talk about your needs. Ask for things that you need. And, you know, who cares if it’s a dude? Honestly, I think that a lot of times we get farther. When it’s a guy, it’s like the equivalent of your history teacher where you’re like, feminine problems have to go to the bathroom and they’re like, whatever, don’t tell me about it.
Just tell me what you need. Go. Here’s the hall pass, you know? So I think a lot of times we don’t ask for what we need and it might actually be a lot easier than you think. Yeah. And, and that really rolls into kind of the addendum to changing policy is that you also have to change culture of a workplace to make this.
Work, right? Like you have to make sure that all of your employees are on the same page here that managers like understand the very basics of breastfeeding so that they can help their employees so that they’re not like, why do you have to take so many breaks, you know, and that they’re recognizing breaks as a medical accommodation, not just like a fun time that you’re having and, you know, something for bigger companies to consider too, is that they can create like an employee network for Parents to connect, right?
They can have like a parent focused slack channel. They can implement one on one mentoring. They can have bulletin boards in the lactation room where parents can like leave each other messages and just like creating the basic network for those employees to support each other is going to benefit the business, frankly.
It totally will. And I see this happen a lot with nurses because like no one is coming to save them and they know it. So they start saving each other and I cannot tell you how many small pods of nurses all get pregnant at the same time. And then one has milk supply issues and one has an oversupply and one could go either way where she’s like.
Yeah, I’ll pump a little extra for you, Carol. No big deal. And so they all support each other to make sure that third baby that’s not getting quite enough because for whatever reason that mom’s having trouble has enough milk. And so that’s covering shifts, you know, they’re like, Oh, your kid has norovirus.
I’ll take your shift over because mine mine’s in a different daycare, you know, and like, wouldn’t it be amazing if the companies that they worked for were like We want you to do this. Here is a platform that we support for you to have a community within your workplace. Like it’s very easy and amazing, you know, and, and it also like kind of rolls into, you know, the last part that, that I think of in this as being flexible, like, and it is a hard thing to do certainly with larger companies, but with smaller companies.
It’s much more realistic. And I think everybody should have this goal, right? Being flexible with new parents, new parents might need part time options. They might need work from home options. They, but you know, and, and I realized that like, you know, a lot of companies have blanket policies against that.
Change it. You’ll retain more. Here’s my here’s my thing, because we’re kind of sending a mixed message. Now. I feel like have policies and be flexible are two different things. So I think they’re not, but they feel that way for big companies. So when they throw that handbook at you with the policies, it feels like the Bible.
And you’re like, Well, I better read this cover to cover so I can know what I’m not going to get away with or what I can get away with of. But it can have a section that says, Hey, like when you return from your parental leave, you know, speak to your manager about these options. Or whatever, just like making sure that those are things that can be discussed.
Yeah, I mean, just the hospital culture sucks. Like, that’s where we’re coming from. And I really wish it could be like the old days where it’s like, yeah, just take my shift. But it’s like, oh, that shift has to be approved because you’re over 36 hours now. And, you know, and you’re like, come on, just let me pick up for poor little Lisa.
Like, she’s, her baby is. Yeah. Pooping everywhere. Yeah, and it does make policy harder, right? I get it. Like, flexibility makes policies more difficult to write, but not impossible. Yeah, not impossible. That’s true. I just don’t think that they want to do it. No, they don’t. I mean, that’s the thing. Large corporations don’t want to do it, and that’s why you have to be like, you’re going to make more money if you do it.
But I, I think, like, understanding that even if they didn’t do all of this, right? Like, If you, if you as an employee brought this list to your workplace and they were like, okay, we’ll do two of these things. Good. That’s a win. You can work on the rest later. Mm hmm. Yeah. And I found a good place to start is equipment.
So a lot of times these managers have no idea what you even need. So if, if you bring to their attention like, Hey, by the way, you don’t even have a pump here available for us. And, you know, then they’re like, Oh my gosh, like I can, I can do that. That has nothing to do with policy, but I can do that. And then they feel good because they take that first step.
And then you can stroke their ego and be like, That is so nice of you, Bob, to get us that Medela Symphony for the, for the group, like our whole pregnancy pod, like. Truly thanks to you. You’re so amazing. And you know what else we could really use? Yeah. Flexible scheduling. Absolutely. Like start with those things.
Start with the lactation room. Start with the like stocking it, you know, start with that and then move forward and be like, Hey, you know what? Do it. Taking this small step has really improved morale. Like you’re getting better attendance from breastfeeding parents because you did that, you know, it would improve more.
Yeah, you know what would be even better? And they’re like, Oh, God, give them an inch. Yeah, take the mile for real, though. Take the mile. Yeah, yeah, I agree. I agree. And also, as much as So, as much as we can educate our managers and the people that are in charge of making these policies, I, there is a part of me that is really bitter about this because it’s like, not my job to educate you.
So, I would actually take it a step above them to the higher ups and be like, you need to pay. Someone else to come in and train these people because it’s not my job to make sure that your manager has consultants for this. They exist. So if you feel like your company is forcing you into a position where you’re already overworked and sleep deprived and trying to breastfeed, and now you’re like running the workshop for managers.
Hell no, let me stop you right there. There’s people that do this for a living and remind them that if they’re going to play like a big dog corporation, they need to actually do that and outsource correctly. Exactly. Well, we’re going to take a really quick break and then we’re going to come back and talk about the other side of this.
The other side.
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Welcome back, everybody. We are going to talk about part two of this episode, which is how to make your business more breastfeeding friendly for customers. So we’ve talked about the employees, we’ve kind of given you an idea of things that you can do to make it better. Now let’s talk about the actual customers that you’re serving.
Why is this important? Yeah, and I think a lot of people, you know, think about that and they’re like, who’s going to breastfeed in my business? Like we don’t have breastfeeding mothers come in. You might attract a new audience though. You might have new consumers coming in. If you actually like put out that friendly front you’re going to be supporting your community, right?
And kindness is important, even in capitalism. And you know, what’s funny about. new moms. They all talk to each other all day. So if it’s not just a new audience, it’s a warm audience, really, which is the best kind because you get one. They’re huge consumers and they have time. Sort of like they have time to be there with their kids.
If you make it comfortable to actually enjoy all of the different facets of your business that you offer, not just like I’m blowing in and out for a cup of coffee. It might be like, Hey, I’m coming in here and I’m going to spend an hour here. And I had such a good time and felt so supported as a parent that I’m going to bring all 10 of my friends next time.
And I’m going to tell the whole mom group and like, boom, there you go. All of a sudden. We’ve just made a lot more money and we’ve made a mark in the community. Yeah, and you and I experience this a lot where we will get so many people contacting us being like, well, my friend gave me your number. Haha.
Yeah. We’re like, I know they did. Yes. A hundred percent. Yeah. But, you know, I have a list of like. Practical things that we can do. And honestly, it’s really easy. Like this is the easy part of the episode. There’s not, it’s not about policy. It’s not about employee rights. It’s literally just about like being nice.
Oh, all right. Teach us how to be nice. Take it bullet by bullet. Okay. We’re going to start in the same way. Know the law, right? People who are allowed to be in your space are allowed to legally breastfeed their end of story. You know, and it’s not just that you as the owner or the manager have to know the law, all of your employees have to understand that this is true, because this gets businesses in trouble over and over, where one employee will harass a breastfeeding parent.
And then they get blasted all over the news and that business gets a lot of bad media. So make sure all of your employees understand, Hey, if somebody comes in here and they’re a customer and they’re breastfeeding their baby, they’re allowed to do that, whether or not they’re covering. Mm hmm. Yeah, you don’t need that bad press.
And oftentimes I think the person that actually owns the company has no idea that that’s going on in the culture. So you have to be really intentional about it when you’re building it. So you don’t end up on the news because one of your Tom, Dick or Harry’s that was run in the front of the house.
Really messed up. Yeah, absolutely. You know, if your space accommodates it, having a private space where parents can breastfeed is amazing. You know, like a lot of the time, I’ll see this in Target, where they take one of the changing rooms, they write lactation station, they put a comfier chair in there, and it’s super cute and nice.
Like, amazing. It’s very easy. You know, if you have like an extra little room in the back, you weren’t, you’re just kind of storing stuff in, you could turn that into a parent space, put a changing table in there, or just like make sure you have a comfy couch somewhere, you know, like a comfortable chair.
Somebody could sit in and nurse their child that, you know, if you see them, you could say, Hey, like, do you want to come sit down? Yeah, you know, why don’t you come do that? Or even just a sign that says, you’re welcome to feed your baby here. And it’s like, oh, good. Like, I don’t need a couch. I could feed my baby in the carrier.
I just didn’t want to, you know, make anyone feel weird in this hardware store or wherever you are. Yeah, exactly. No, and a lot of there are little signs you can order. Like window decals that say, like, this is a breastfeeding friendly business. Sometimes there are local support groups you can register with as like a family friendly establishment and they’ll advertise on their page that you are that and then you get more visibility.
I also highly recommend that you have a restroom with a changing table available for either parent. Breastfeeding, tangential, but very important for parents as consumers that if like a father walks in with his baby, he can change their diaper and it’s not just in the women’s restroom or it’s not really hard to access.
That’s really, really important. Yeah, that’s my one of my biggest pet peeves when we had Heidi and she was. still little in diapers and we’d go out to dinner and I could, I was the only one that could change her. So it’s like he got to relax and drink his beer at the table, but if little girl poops her pants, like it’s always me.
I’m always on. And that is such a message, right? I hate that. That bothers me endlessly. And it did bother him too. And as I’d be getting up, he’d say, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’d be like, yeah, you should be. Yeah, and you know, for a lot of small businesses, like you can have one, you know, non-gendered bathroom with a changing table.
Great. Anybody can use it, right? I think that’s super important. And, you know, I think also what you said, having like a separate. Room like a smaller one is important because men’s rooms are kind of disgusting and my husband’s like even if they did have a changing table in there, I can’t imagine it would be a place you’d want me to bring her.
Yeah, no, absolutely. And I, you know, I also wanted to bring up if you’re a local business, especially small businesses, like in a tight knit community. Sponsor a breastfeeding space at local events, at festivals, at fairs, at parades you know, like our state breastfeeding alliance puts out these breastfeeding spaces for like the state fair and stuff and they ask sponsors to sponsor You know, to sponsor that your sign gets on it.
It’s not that much money to sponsor it. And then you can say you did that parents who go in there, see your business, you know, it’s really good exposure. And it just takes that one step further to say like, Yes, I am a breastfeeding supportive business. I took an extra step, not just supporting people in my space, but outside of my space, too, for sure.
I think that’s really important and speaks volumes because I mean, We would cry. I mean, we’re emotional anyway. Breastfeeding, we got oxytocin flowing everywhere. If someone was like, hey, good job, and I took the extra step to make sure this was comfortable for you while you’re at the state fair or something, I would be like, oh my god, thank you so much.
Absolutely. And if you guys, you know, have other ideas of how businesses can make this better or like, say you work at a company and you’re like, Oh my gosh, my company did this thing you didn’t mention, or you have a business and you’re like, I did this thing you didn’t mention, email us, tell us, we’ll, we’ll talk about it in another episode.
You know, we really love to make this information like easy to access and readily available for people to find when they’re looking for it, when they’re starting their own businesses, when they’re working at a new place, all of that. Totally. All right, well, let’s take a quick break. And when we get back, we have a special award to give another female business owner who is crushing it.
As far as breastfeeding support goes.
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Alright, welcome back everybody. Are you ready for this award, Maureen? I am, I’m really excited. Alright, so we’re going to give the award in the alcove today to Melissa Wirt, the founder of Latched Mama, for her amazing breastfeeding friendly business. So, Melissa… is actually coming on the podcast, by the way, which we’re so we’re going to interview her on the podcast about all of it, just all of the things.
So if you have a question for her, get your question in soon milk minute podcast at gmail. com. But Melissa provides a hundred days paid parental leave for employees. And also they have on staff CLCs to help with breastfeeding issues that come up with their employees. And If we’re not done, the child can accompany the parent to work for 18 months, which is amazing, and they encourage breastfeeding up to and beyond two years of age.
So instead of that, well, you’re at a year, why are you still pumping? Why do you still need pumping breaks? They’re like, do it, bring them, and you can do it and should do it for two years. Yeah, we love that. I, I feel like, I don’t know, we’ll have to ask Melissa if she has like a template we can show other people for how to do this, what those policies look like, because I’m sure she worked really hard on them, and it just sounds incredibly supportive, like the, the dream place to work.
And I want to know, is it the dream place to work? Has it worked? Like, what’s her turnover? Like, I want to know all of those things. Like, what is the culture like when you work there? Is it a mess having 18 month old’s running around ripping the place? Like, how many people actually do that? You know, because Right.
Yeah, I’m, I’m excited to ask all that and so much more. And for, for now, we’re just going to commend Melissa on her work, on her incredibly successful business. We’re going to give Melissa the Latched On to Policy Award because she is killing it and we are super amazed by all of the stuff she is doing and we just hope to see that more and more.
Yeah. And I can’t wait to get some Latched Mama clothes for my breastfeeding journey. Pumped about that. Ha ha ha. Get it? Oh goodness. Well we hope you enjoyed this episode of the Milk Minute podcast today. The way we change this big system that is not set up for lactating parents or employees is by educating ourselves, the people at the very top who are in charge of outsourcing the education for all of their managers, and you know, all the other people in our lives.
If you want to support the podcast, you can tell a friend about it, you can send this episode to your boss, or you can join us on Patreon at Patreon. com slash Milk Minute Podcast. All right. We love y’all. Happy working and pumping and feeding and whatever you’re trying to squeeze into this day. Bye. Bye.