New Study Shows More than Half of Working Moms Who Left the Workforce Have No Plans on Coming Back Soon – Employers Need to Know How to Fix That

Survey Findings from New Moms’ Healthy Returns Reveals Opportunities to Improve Reentry

McHenry, IL, Oct. 28, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As businesses across the country continue to struggle to fill open positions, a recent survey found that 52 percent of working moms who left the workforce during the Covid-19 pandemic have no plans to return before next year. The study, conducted in September 2021 for New Moms' Healthy Returns by Medela and Mamava – the partners behind the program –  surveyed more than 3,100 moms to understand why they left the workforce and what it may require to motivate them to return.

“Balancing work responsibilities with families has never been easy, but the strain of the recent year and a half forced parents to make hard decisions,” explains Dana Kirwin, director of employer groups for USA at Medela. “Employers need to reconsider work culture and working families who need more than what was offered pre-COVID. Supporting working parents benefits retention. Of the moms we surveyed who are reluctant to return, 75 percent are concerned about balancing work and family.”

More than 3,100 moms who work shared what motivated them to leave and why they are hesitant to return. Results from the survey indicate that one in three who are not returning to work have made that decision because they don’t feel adequately supported by their employer to care for their families. Additionally, 19 percent of those surveyed don’t feel like an employer would support their needs in balancing family and work responsibilities, with another 13 percent sharing that they don’t feel an employer will support their personal goals to start or grow a family.

Insights from the study can help employers consider steps to help retain and attract employees with families. Of study respondents who stayed in their jobs through the pandemic, having employer support was key. Two out of three moms surveyed reported that they felt supported by their employer, with most sharing a few key benefits that made the most difference:

  • Work from home policies
  • Flexibility in the form of modified schedules, flexible hours, or the ability to take time off as needed
  • A general culture of support for family responsibilities, including taking time off to care for family/children

New Moms' Healthy Returns was established to help parents and employers with the transition back to work after a new baby. Medela and Mamava have published white papers on how parental support and lactation accommodation policies can help foster an inclusive workplace culture, and positively impact a company's bottom line. The white papers can be downloaded for free at:

For more information, visit to view the data infographic highlighting key survey findings.


About Medela 
Through advancing research, observing natural behavior and listening to our customers, Medela turns science into care while nurturing health for generations. Medela, the most trusted breast pump brand in North America*, supports millions of moms, babies, patients and healthcare professionals in more than 100 countries all over the world.  As the healthcare choice for more than 6 million hospitals and homes across the globe, Medela provides leading research-based breast milk feeding and baby products, healthcare solutions for hospitals, and clinical education. Medela is dedicated to building better health outcomes, simplifying and improving life, and developing breakthroughs that help moms, babies and patients live their life to the fullest. For more information, visit

About Mamava
Mamava, the leading expert in lactation space design, is dedicated to transforming the culture of breastfeeding in the United States by providing flexible lactation space solutions designed to meet the needs of breastfeeding families. Mamava pods are linked into a proprietary smart technology system that empowers easy wayfinding and autonomous access. Parents can open them with Mamava’s free app (available for iOS and Android). The app also allows moms to see availability of pods, opt into vacancy alerts, adjust interior lighting and airflow, and leave digital notes of support for the next person. Best of all, the app helps breastfeeding people find thousands of (Mamava-vetted) places to pump on the go—not just Mamava pods, and never a bathroom. To learn more, visit Mamava at

*Voted most trusted breast pump brand by United States and Canadian shoppers based on the 2021 BrandSpark® American and Canadian Trust Studies

Medela wordmark and logo are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. New Moms' Healthy Returns is a trademark of Medela.



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