Jakarta. Fast-moving consumer goods giant Danone is giving its full support to breastfeeding employees as exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life is pivotal to a child's growth.
Danone is embracing the so-called global parental policy (GPP) which focuses on three elements: prenatal support, extended parental leave, and postnatal support. This encompasses, among others, the provision of lactation rooms and consultancy. All these initiatives —which seek to support breastfeeding mothers in the workplace— have already been in force since 2017 across Danone's operations in 58 countries.
In Indonesia, the FMCG company has granted its employees a six-month maternity leave and a 10-day paternity leave. To support breastfeeding mothers, Danone Indonesia employees also get access to health insurance, educational programs, peers-to-peers coaching, and a special lactation room in the workplace. Such policies are in line with the company's 'One Planet, One Health' vision and its efforts to help nurture a golden generation by Indonesia's centenary in 2045.
"Danone Indonesia remains committed to sustainable business practices in line with social, economic, and environmental developments, [as seen in our] 'One Planet, One Health' vision. This includes our efforts to support children to grow healthily to help realize a golden generation in 2045, by supporting working parents with family-friendly policies, education, and facilities," Vera Galuh Sugijanto, the VP General Secretary at Danone Indonesia, said.
In 2021, a study titled "Implementation and Preliminary Assessment of Workplace Postnatal and Breastfeeding Support for Working Mothers" surveyed Danone female employees worldwide who have had the experience of breastfeeding or are actively breastfeeding.
The study revealed Danone's initiatives helped 70 percent of the respondents to breastfeed their infants for up to 12 months or longer. About 66 percent said they used the lactation rooms available in their respective countries.
The retention rate of mothers at Danone also reached 74 percent last year, according to the study.
Ray Basrowi, the director of the medical and scientific affairs at Danone Specialized Nutrition, also highlighted the importance of breastfeeding initiatives in the workplace.
According to Ray, one of the overlooked challenges in breastfeeding is working moms hesitate to continue to breastfeed their infants due to numerous inconveniences in the workplace. This might even lead to full breastfeeding cessation.
"Systematic changes are needed following simple and practical changes: giving access to knowledge on breastfeeding while working, sharing advice and support from employers and colleagues, and providing a breastfeeding-friendly workplace. Optimum support will eventually bring greater impact. Because an increase in working mothers’ wellbeing can boost their work performance,” Ray Basrowi said.