KITTERY, Maine, Aug. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — pumpspotting, the leading community-driven breastfeeding support platform, today announced a partnership with the State of Maine to establish a breastfeeding-supportive climate for its more than 11,000 employees while also extending new lactation support benefits to an additional 20,000 employees of state-affiliated agencies. In a separate announcement, pumpspotting announced a $1.15M seed funding round, which includes a number of Maine-based investors.
The State of Maine will join pumpspotting’s Guild, a group of businesses in the U.S. that are committed to empowering women by enabling parents to achieve their breastfeeding goals. The State of Maine will first participate in research to establish existing employee attitudes regarding current breastfeeding support available, then install pumpspotting’s software and services, and finally measure change with a second employee survey. As a Luminary in pumpspotting’s Guild, the State of Maine is leading the way in the establishment of such workplace cultures, as well as demonstrating a breastfeeding support model for U.S. state and federal governments of all sizes.
"As a Maine startup, we are thrilled to announce this partnership," said pumpspotting Founder & CEO Amy VanHaren. "The State of Maine’s commitment to supporting feeding parents is indicative of its commitment to innovation and to attracting a diverse workforce. We look forward to our home state being a model for breastfeeding supportive climates nationwide."
Establishing a breastfeeding supportive climate differs from a breastfeeding-friendly climate, where employers tolerate breastfeeding, offer lactation space, are legally compliant and rely on employees to advocate for what they need. pumpspotting will provide the State of Maine with evidence-backed ways to anticipate breastfeeding employees’ needs and actively endeavor to join parents in the achievement of breastfeeding goals with facilities, policy, procedure, culture, access to experts, encouragement and community.
"We pride ourselves on being an inclusive workplace and look forward to building a breastfeeding-supportive climate that makes working for the State of Maine a top notch experience for our employees," said Executive Director Shonna Poulin, of the State of Maine’s Office of Employee Health & Benefits. "The initiative is doubly exciting as we partner with pumpspotting, a startup from our very own Maine innovation community and a member of Maine’s Early Adopter Program, designed to accelerate innovative Maine startups. We look forward to showing the world how well Maine supports working parents."
State employees, as well as their partners and spouses, will be provided with access to the pumpspotting mobile app, a community-driven platform that allows them to tap into a global community of feeding parents as well as an exclusive community of fellow State of Maine employees and their families. pumpspotting provides feeding parents with access to timely, evidence-based content, uplifting love notes and supportive articles, a crowdsourced map of places to nurse and pump worldwide, one-on-one support from IBCLC-certified lactation consultants and, perhaps most importantly, a network of fellow parents to connect with 24×7.
As part of pumpspotting’s Guild, the State of Maine will receive employer guidance on the elevation of their breastfeeding support, including a sample best-in-class milk expression policy, inspiration for taking lactation spaces to the next level, an internal communications campaign to promote adoption of and engagement with the program, as well as regular insights into their user community. The work pumpspotting is doing with the State of Maine is part of an academic research project led by a team from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, researching the topic of breastfeeding-supportive climates in the workplace.
As women’s workforce participation hits its lowest rate in decades, forward-thinking employers are increasingly looking towards more comprehensive family-friendly benefits and lactation support is a major area of growth.
- Half of women in a recent survey said they felt the need to choose between breastfeeding and work, with the average woman spending 35 hours a week breastfeeding. One in five breastfeeding workers report having felt pressure from their companies to stop. (Aeroflow)
- Companies that provide lactation benefits have better retention rates and a 50% reduction in absenteeism, with 83% of parents feeling more positive about the company (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services)
- Companies see an enormous savings in medical claims for mom and baby, while also enjoying a 50% reduction in absenteeism when they help working mothers achieve breastfeeding goals. (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services)
Since its founding in 2015, pumpspotting has developed a virtual community of more than 40,000 working parents. pumpspotting is working with employers, retailers, universities and other business partners to establish paths for widespread systemic change in breastfeeding benefits and accommodations; pumpspotting’s Guild is an effective channel for accelerating that change. In addition to its work with the State of Maine and other large companies, pumpspotting has also launched pumpspotting for employees, which enables businesses of all sizes, including small and startup businesses with perhaps only 1 or 2 employees who need support, to provide breastfeeding support to all their employees for only $499 per year.
pumpspotting empowers women by enabling nursing, pumping, and breastfeeding parents to achieve their feeding goals. The company’s software and services, deployed by employers, retailers, universities and other companies, elevate basic accommodations to best-in-class experiences that build brand-exclusive communities, extend the experience beyond physical space, and create opportunities while positioning companies as heroes. Moms love pumpspotting because its encouraging community reduces isolation and anxiety while connecting them with peers, experts and places to feed. For more information, visit pumpspotting.com
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