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Corporate Wellness Helps New Mothers Return to Work

Returning to work after maternity leave ends can be hard, but corporations can make it easier, helping new mothers feel better and therefore, work better, too. New mothers are returning to work sooner than previous generations of mothers. They can face new challenges as they return to work: discomfort or pain, fatigue (or just plain feeling tired!), and depression. One way to support new mothers as they re-enter the workforce is by providing corporate wellness services that suit their unique needs. Successful corporate wellness programs support an employee’s health and wellbeing, increasing job satisfaction and productivity and reducing absenteeism.

Ergonomic Evaluations for New Mothers

One of the biggest challenges new mothers face is sadness or depression. In fact, up to 80 percent of new mothers experience “baby blues,” feelings of unhappiness or fatigue that come with hormonal changes and adapting to life with a new baby, who likely doesn’t sleep through the night.

Now, research shows that one way to help stave off depression is ergonomically sound sitting. A study in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry shows that sitting up straight can reduce fatigue and help improve mood in people with mild-to-moderate depression.

Naturally, simply telling your employees to sit up straight probably isn’t going to provide the solution to the problem. Instead, show them why it will help them. Offering new moms an ergonomic evaluation at their desks could help give them a much-needed emotional boost when they return from maternity leave.

At Urban Wellness Clinic, we understand the unique challenges that new moms face – they’re tired, learning to adapt to motherhood, and feeling pulled in two directions. We’ve seen poor desk set-ups cause new moms to slouch, affecting the healing of C-section stitches and increasing the risk of developing keloids, abnormal and unsightly scar formations. Slouching can also block diaphragmatic or “belly breathing,” which can soothe anxiety and help regain strength in the abdomen after giving birth.

So, we offer ergonomic assessments for offices and work stations, tailoring it to each employee’s unique needs. For new mothers, that means evaluating how they are sitting to determine any cause of discomfort or pain, taking into consideration the type, duration, and any complications of the delivery. An ergonomic assessment can help improve posture and elevate mood, but no two assessments are the same. Some people may need to adjust their screen height while others may need to change their chair positioning. After having a baby, the body changes, which means the way a woman sits can change, too.

We follow an ergonomic assessment checklist that helps us evaluate everything from chair positioning to computer screen height. We take before and after photos to capture the difference between sitting and sitting to maximize comfort. Each evaluation takes just 15 to 20 minutes, but the results are lasting.

We offer one on one ergonomic assessments and lunch and learns to discuss the benefits of good posture. Contact us today about our ergonomic assessments by calling 212-355-0445 or emailing

How to Support Breastfeeding at Work

Offering a lactation room at work isn’t just a nice perk. In some cases, it’s required by law. In the United States, companies with 50 or more employees must provide a private area for nursing mothers to express breast milk without being seen or disturbed by coworkers.

Though smaller companies can file a waiver that allows them not to provide such an area, it’s worth considering. Studies show that lactation rooms reduce lost work time due to infant illness by 77 percent. What’s more, it allows new mothers to balance motherhood and work, while they are at their jobs.

Note that the law states that the bathroom is not an acceptable lactation room, because toilets aren’t sanitary locations. Besides, it’s hard to balance a breast pump while sitting on the toilet!

Here are some tips for setting up a breastfeeding room at the office:

• The door should have a lock and a sign designating the area for breastfeeding

• Provide chairs that support the back during pumping.

• Include tables suitable for holding breast pumps.

• Make sure electrical outlets are easy to access.

• Install a curtain between chairs for privacy

• The room should include or be near a sink for easy clean-up and a refrigerator for storing pumped breast milk.

Corporate Yoga Classes Help New Moms Heal

Are you protecting your company’s most precious asset? Corporate wellness programs help maximize employee productivity, lower healthcare costs, and prevent injury. For new mothers, who are likely more tired and achy than usual, movement classes can help improve concentration, reversing the body’s unhealthy compensations for sitting for long periods of time.

We have developed corporate Yoga classes designed to improve range of motion, strengthen weak and underused muscles, and correct poor posture – all at once. Urban Wellness’ Corporate Yoga program can help relieve stress and anxiety, boost energy and motivation, and improve concentration.

For new mothers, Yoga’s relaxation techniques coupled with toning and stretching exercises can help the postpartum healing process. It can help relieve stress in the neck and shoulders caused by carrying around a newborn and then hunching over a computer. It can tone the abdomen after birth, strengthen the lower back, and increase energy levels when moms need it most.

Chair Massage Boosts Energy and Reduces Pain

Who needs a good chair massage more than a new mom does? Chair massages can reduce anxiety, increase feelings of wellbeing, reduce pain, and improve job performance. They also provide a mid-day pick-me-up—great for when you’re starting to get tired.

Studies have shown that on-site chair massage therapy programs help reduce stress and anxiety levels, even lowering blood pressure. Chair massage can improve energy levels and mood, soothing nerves and boosting morale.

The 15-minute treatment is performed right where your employees work, so they don’t have to miss work to release tightness and tension. Our massage therapists are experienced in treating work-related overuse injuries, including back pain, sciatica, headaches, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Massage can calm the mind, improve brain power, and lower stress. The lasting effects of chair massage include reducing tension headaches, improving blood circulation, and strengthening the immune system.

At Urban Wellness Clinic, our corporate wellness offerings include chair massage for the upper back, neck, and arms, which are crucial areas affected by computer use and caring for a baby. Your employees will return to their desks refreshed and ready to work. Contact us today about our corporate wellness programs. Call us at 212-355-0445, or email us at We’re here for you!

Whether you’re considering an ergonomic assessment, chair massage, breastfeeding room or corporate Yoga classes for your employees returning from maternity leave, remember they are an investment in your company’s greatest asset: your people. We look forward to helping you help your employees.

Best in health,

Dr. Emily Kiberd