And now Nestlé is getting in on the action. The Swiss-based food and beverage corporation recently unveiled its new international maternity leave policy, and it's pretty generous: 14 weeks paid leave—and an opportunity to extend that by up to six months (unpaid), if you want—and the option of a flexible work schedule once you return. A major reason for the generous arrangement? To support breastfeeding mothers, say Nestlé brass—which is ironic considering the company is a major manufacturer of infant formula.
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But lest you think this is a ploy to corner the mom market, Bulcke insists the new maternity leave policy is simply a reflection of the company's beliefs. It's a way that "mothers can secure a healthy start for their babies, because we as a company believe in that," he explains. "It costs money and reduces productivity [but] I can tell you of the motivation that it creates."
Of course, paid time off is crucial whether you're bottle-feeding or breastfeeding. Those early weeks and months are a special time for a new family, and the last thing moms and dads should have to worry about is their job. Hopefully more companies—and our government—will come around and see that.
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