Milk Stork goes international with latest breastfeeding benefit
Breast milk shipping company Milk Stork is expanding its employer-paid services to include an international shipping option, designed to support breastfeeding moms who are traveling overseas for work.
Women now make up the majority in the U.S. workforce, holding 50.04% of the jobs as of December 2019, according to the Labor Department. Additionally, the majority of working women are working mothers, as seven in 10 moms with kids younger than 18 are in the labor force, according to Pew Research. Breastfeeding rates are on the rise, according to the CDC, which suggests more breast milk is being pumped at work than ever before. With more working and breastfeeding employees, it makes sense for employers to offer a benefit specific to this need.
“My mission is to unburden moms as much as possible both emotionally and physically,” says Milk Stork CEO Kate Torgersen. “It’s really important that we’re able to ship [our product] to them internationally.”
Milk Stork’s international shipping option enables working mothers to pack and ship a five-day supply of refrigerated breast milk, which typically has a lifespan of about a week. The international pump and ship cooler kit will be waiting for employees when they arrive at their hotels. The kits include breast milk storage bags, international shipping labels and customs paperwork.
The International Pump and Ship benefit is a continuation of the International Pump and Check benefit that Milk Stork launched last year, which allows for refrigerated breast milk to be packed in any overseas hotel room and checked as luggage on the flight home.
Milk Stork increased its footprint with U.S. employers by 50% in 2019 from 2018, and has shipped over 3 million ounces of breast milk since the company was founded in 2015. .
Benefits that specifically target working mothers can have a profound impact. About 37% of breastfeeding moms will leave the workforce due to lack of support, according to data from Business Group on Health. When women are able to breastfeed for one additional month, it can result in $4,000 in reduced healthcare claims, according to Health Policy and Planning research. Additionally, employers will realize $3 return on investment for every $1 spent on lactation support, according to a report from the American Journal of Health Promotion.
Offering such benefits is a strong attraction and retention tool for employers as potential workers desire benefits that will help alleviate stress in their lives. Indeed, Torgersen agrees that the best benefits employers can offer working parents are paid parental leave and child care options.
“It’s absolutely critical,” she says. “Both parents need to have that time to bond with their child, to recover from giving birth and really [because] you never get that time back. Parents need to have that good and supportive transition.”