Even if your workplace offers a generous maternity or paternity leave of even three months, it can be stressful going back to work and leaving your infant with a nanny or at daycare. While they might not have the same demanding needs they did as a newborn, but it is still emotionally and often physically difficult to be away from them — especially if you are breastfeeding. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could just bring your baby to work with you?
At the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa, you can. The nonprofit employed a new infants-at-work policy in December, and one new mom, chief development officer Chelsey DeRuyter and her daughter, Finley, are reaping the benefits.
"I feel really blessed to have this opportunity," DeRuyter told The Des Moines Register. "I feel empowered to both have a successful career and a family."
The policy enables news moms, dads or guardians to bring their new babies to work full-time for up to six months or when the child starts crawling (whichever comes first.) The progressive company also offers some more pretty honorable benefits for parents, including an eight-week parental leave plan and a five-day bereavement benefit for parents who have suffered miscarriages.
And why shouldn’t moms be able to bring their babies to work? "We as a society can get so behind having a dog in a workplace and yet we balk at the idea of having a child, when in fact they bring many of the same elements to the workplace," Girl Scouts of Central Iowa CEO Beth Shelton pointed out. "So to me it was a really stark way of saying if we can support a dog in the workplace, come on, we can support human children."
The office also provides a quiet room for fussy infants or those who need to be fed, and also asks other employees to help out new parents, such as aiding when they need a bathroom break. If a baby is “overly disruptive” or “deemed to be a poor fit for the workplace” there are some caveats in place, of course, but so far they have experienced no issues.
While having your baby in the workplace would clearly complicate things a bit, the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa’s new policy is truly progressive and empowering to women and we couldn’t be more supportive!