In honor of National Breastfeeding Month, I wanted to share my experience as a breastfeeding mama at SparkPost.
A company’s attitude about breastfeeding can make a huge difference in a woman’s breastfeeding journey. Federal law requires that new mothers be permitted time and a private location to express milk while at work, but there is a difference between companies that “do it because they have to” and companies that truly are trying to enable and encourage breastfeeding. Coming back from parental leave is hard enough without having to worry about needing to assert your right to pump and any potential backlash. I wanted to share my top 4 reasons why I think SparkPost is a great place for new moms to work:
- Wellness Room: When SparkPost was designing the layout for its new Maryland office a year and a half ago, there was some extra space that was considered for a variety of uses. In the end, SparkPost decided to turn this into a dedicated Wellness Room, for breastfeeding moms to use as well as any other employees who need a little quiet time. Federal law requires “a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk”– but that can be interpreted in so many different ways. Having a dedicated room with a comfy chair, sink, and refrigerator makes pumping a little less sucky (see what I did there? 😉 ). I also love having lockers to store my pump, which means I don’t have to lug it back and forth to work every day. The Wellness Room also happens to be conveniently located right next to the kitchen (see #4 below!).
- Remote Work: With most employees split between our two offices in Columbia, MD and San Francisco, as well as a fair number of other remote employees, conference calls are the norm for meetings at SparkPost. Call-in information is included in nearly every meeting invite you receive. This means that even if a meeting happens to fall during my pumping time, I can participate by dialing in from the wellness room. I don’t need to ask for the meeting to be rescheduled, and it’s not an extra burden on the meeting organizer to set up a call since it’s so ubiquitous. I just double (and triple!) check that my camera isn’t on.
- Flexible Hours: I’ve heard tales of moms pumping in the car to and from work in order to be able to get enough pumping time without completely disrupting their day. Since SparkPost has flexible hours, I can get my first pump in at home before driving to work, meaning I have one fewer disruption during the day.
- Snacks, snacks, and more snacks! Last but certainly not least, SparkPost provides unlimited snacks for employees! Pop culture loves to make jokes about pregnant women being hungry all the time, but the same can be said about breastfeeding women, who generally need an additional 450-500 calories per day. SparkPost has a constant supply of healthy snacks on hand, like greek yogurt, fruit, bagels, and cheese sticks. And there’s also the candy bowl for the days you just really need something sweet.
-Haley Solomon, Technical Product Manager