More Mothers Praising Benefits Of Bringing Babies To Work

May 6, 2018
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And more employers are letting them

Last month, U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth made history, when she took her 10-day-old daughter to the Senate floor as she participated in a vote.

The child became the first baby allowed on the Senate floor following an intense debate among senators about allowing babies in their workplace. 

A resolution ultimately passed permitting senators to bring kids under the age of 1 onto the floor.

In a tweet about the historic moment, Duckworth wrote:

Yesterday’s rule change may only apply to the Senate, but I hope it can serve as a message that working families across America deserve family-friendly workplace policies

— Tammy Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) April 19, 2018

Cincinnati-area parents are now echoing the senator’s plea by asking for babies to be allowed in the workplace as long as they don’t hinder the parent’s ability to complete their work, and it advocates for the change are promoting the benefits of doing so.

The Parenting in the Workplace Institute, a national resource for employees and employers to assess best practices for starting a babies-at-work program, says that more than 2,100 babies have successfully come to work in baby-

inclusive organizations, “including credit unions, law firms, consulting companies, manufacturing companies, technology firms, retail stores, schools, dance studios, libraries, and government agencies.” 

The site currently has 3 Ohio, 2 Kentucky and 4 Indiana companies registered.

Carla Moquin, the founder and president of the institute, said that she’s passionate about her company’s work because of the positive effects of bringing babies into the workplace.

“Allowing babies to come to work lowers stress for infants and their parents because they don’t have to be separated in those critical early months,” she said. “It also makes it much more feasible for mothers who wish to breastfeed, as it is easier to maintain their milk supply through nursing instead of having to rely on a pump while they’re at work.”

The programs have financial benefits for working parents, as well, Moquin added.”These programs also reduce financial stresses for parents because they don’t have to pay the exorbitant cost of daycare in the early months of their baby’s life,” she said.

Moquin said that she’s seen the most success with company policies which allow babies to come to work from birth to 6 months old, the point at which some babies become more mobile and start to crawl.

She expects to see more workplaces allowing the practice.

 More or less 70 companies had active programs at the end of 2017; today, the club comprises more than 200.

She said the main hurdle facing employees wishing to bring their babies to work is getting employers to kick off a program in the first place.

“Most people are understandably skeptical at the idea of having a baby in a work environment on a daily basis. However, there is a big discrepancy between what people assume will happen versus how these programs actually work within a formal, structured policy,” she said.

One of the program benefits seen is that it results in a more community-based environment as coworkers “bond with the babies, wanting to play with and help care for them.

If parents can persuade an employer to try a program, “they are extremely likely to make the program permanent once they see how well it works,” she said.

What are your thoughts on these programs?

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