Providing Appropriate Nutrition for Mothers, Infants and Toddlers

Providing Appropriate Nutrition for Mothers, Infants and Toddlers

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Global minimum standards for maternity leave in Nestlé S.A.’s Maternity Protection Policy: @NestleUSA

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015 - 11:00am

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There is scientific evidence that nutrition during the first 1,000 days—starting at pregnancy and continuing through the child’s first two years—has a vital and lifelong impact. Here are some examples of how we are continuously improving and demonstrating nutritional leadership and guidance during this critical development stage.

Breastfeeding: Nestlé fully supports the recommendation of the World Health Organization that babies should be exclusively breastfed for six months followed by the introduction of nutritious and appropriate complementary foods along with sustained breastfeeding up to two years of age and beyond. However, there are still numerous barriers to breastfeeding. When, in consultation with their healthcare providers, mothers and families decide that breastfeeding is not possible, infant formula—the only suitable breast-milk substitute recognized by the WHO—plays a vital role in providing essential nutrients to infants. We are committed to the highest standards of responsible marketing of breast-milk substitutes and have been included in the FTSE4Good Index since 2011, the only global responsible investment index with clear criteria on the marketing of breast-milk substitutes.

GERBER® Start Healthy, Stay HealthyTM:

Nestlé Nutrition developed this stage-based nutrition system of products, educational materials and easy-to-use tools for its Gerber brand. This system, which is based on the latest peer-reviewed nutrition science, is designed to help guide healthy growth and development from ages 0–4. It also helps promote the early establishment of healthy eating habits in the critical early years. Breastfeeding is at the heart of the Gerber Start Healthy, Stay Healthy Nutrition System, and Gerber recommends breastfeeding as the ideal nutrition for babies. To learn more about these resources, visit

Supporting Families—Nestlé Parental Support Policy: The first 1,000 days offer a unique window of opportunity to shape a healthier future. During this formative period, infants require appropriate nutrition, stimulation and a caring setting to develop to their full potential. To foster a supportive environment for employees and their families, in 2015 Nestlé established global minimum standards for maternity leave in Nestlé S.A.’s Maternity Protection Policy, one of the most progressive programs of its kind in the food and beverage industry. In the United States, Nestlé is implementing this new policy as the Parental Support Policy. Effective January 1, 2016, the policy grants eligible employees up 14 weeks paid parental leave, with the ability to extend their leave on an unpaid basis up to a total of six months. The policy will be applicable to all primary caregivers of newborns, including male employees and adoptive parents. In addition, the policy also includes flexible working arrangements and guaranteed access to breastfeeding rooms during working hours in head offices and sites with more than 50 female employees. More broadly, the Maternity Protection Policy will be implemented at Nestlé workplaces across the world by 2018.