Working Moms at IBM Can Now Ship Their Breast Milk Back Home
IBM announced on Monday that it would begin offering a breast milk delivery service for employees who are also working mothers. The new program will allow women traveling on business to ship their expressed breast milk back to their homes free of cost.
Traveling while breastfeeding can be quite complicated. Breast milk has a very short shelf life and, unless frozen, it will spoil after a few days. Career women might have to resort to traveling with a carry-on cooler as breast milk also needs to be chilled if it’s going to be outside of a fridge or freezer for more than four hours. And sometimes, even airport policies can be unaccommodating for lactating mothers: In April, Alyssa Milano tweeted her outrage when security at Heathrow Airport removed ten ounces of her breast milk as she was coming back from vacation.
@Alyssa_Milano Hi Alyssa. Unfortunately, without a baby present, the government requires all liquids in carry-ons to follow the 100ml rule.— Heathrow Airport (@HeathrowAirport) April 9, 2015
IBM appears to be the first company to offer this specific perk for working moms. The express delivery service is part of its initiative to attract and retain top female talent in the industry. Many tech corporations are prioritizing female-friendly policies as of late and are providing lucrative incentives such as generous paid leave and expanded coverage for expensive fertility procedures. IBM currently offers six weeks of paid maternity leave, while Google offers up to eighteen. And last year, Apple and Facebook became the first companies to start covering egg-freezing procedures for its employees. How long until other industries start taking note?
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