Through a newly offered breast milk shipping program, Nissan makes life a little easier for moms who travel for work. Nissan covers all expenses of shipping nursing mothers’ breast milk home when they are traveling for business.
How it works: Milk Stork, the only breast milk shipping company in the U.S., sends packing materials and a pharmaceutical-grade cooler ahead of time so supplies are available to the nursing mother when she arrives at her destination. The cooler contains an internal mechanism that, once activated, keeps its contents chilled for up to 72 hours. Once ready to ship, the employee simply drops the cooler off at the hotel front desk or any FedEx shipping location to be overnighted to their baby.
“New moms returning to work have an added stress of managing their work-life balance,” said Michelle Baron, vice president, Human Resources, Nissan North America. “The breast milk shipping program allows Nissan to support mothers in this stage of life and alleviate some of their worries.”
The latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates 83% of babies born in the U.S. in 2014 were breastfeeding, an increase of nearly 14% from 2004. Babies are also breastfeeding longer, with 55% of U.S. babies born in 2014 still being breastfed at six months, up from 42% in 2004.
“We are thrilled to have Nissan as our first corporate partner in the automotive industry,” said Kate Torgersen, founder and CEO of Milk Stork. “By providing the Milk Stork service to its employees, Nissan is not only supporting women during one of life’s greatest transitions, but also acknowledging the professional accomplishments and contributions made by working mothers.”
Nissan Alliance of Parents (NAP), an employee-led resource group at Nissan North America, originally proposed the mother’s milk shipping idea. NAP helps parents, and caregivers, communicate, learn and improve the balance of career and family needs.
“Supporting working mothers is the right thing to do, and also valuable for the company. Benefits like mother’s milk shipping help us continue to recruit, retain and motivate,” added Baron.
Mother’s milk shipping is only one of the latest initiatives Nissan North America has introduced as part of its commitment to working parents. Others include:
- More comfortable and functional mothers’ pumping rooms, with mirrors to ensure clothes are back on properly, and magnetic white boards to display baby pictures.
- Expectant mother parking passes, allowing pregnant employees to park directly in front of the headquarters entrance.
- “Welcome back kits” for new parents, including information on building resources and contact information of other parents who are willing to mentor or connect with new parents.
- Flexible work schedule options, with the option to work from home using virtual office.
- Expecting parents enrolled in Nissan’s Healthy Maternity Management Program are eligible to receive money toward the purchase of a car seat and a free breast pump.
The Nissan Group employs about 22,500 people throughout the U.S. and Canada, including major operations in Arizona, California, Michigan, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas and Ontario, Canada.