Brianna started at Blue in 2013 as her first job out of college and just like any first job she told herself, “we’ll see how this goes.” Fast forward seven years and three babies later, she’s built a family and a career at BCBSND. “With every life changing event, I’ve had to reevaluate what the next step is personally and professionally—and it was a no brainer that BCBSND will support my growing family and continue to support me professionally,” says Brianna. In her time at BCBSND, Brianna’s been able to achieve being a great wife and mother along with feeling successful in her career.
Starting a family was always an important part of Brianna’s life. When she applied to BCBSND she knew the organization had a reputation of being a secure place to start raising a family. At the time, Brianna wasn’t aware of the benefits offered by BCBSND but during her orientation she was presented the employee benefits information. This was extremely helpful, but she admits there wasn’t many details for the infant friendly benefits. “Prenatal Plus and the lactation lounge weren’t really promoted or advertised,” recalls Brianna. “I found out about the infant friendly benefits through word-of-mouth from BCBSND moms.” In 2015, Brianna found out she was expecting her first baby and turned to HR to start preparing for her maternity leave.
Brianna recalls her meeting with HR being very “in-depth” in helping her navigate through her employee portal, preparing and providing the appropriate information. “All the resources were printed out for me,” says Brianna. “Any time I had questions they were there to help me.” HR recommended Brianna speak to her supervisor to develop a plan for before, during and after her maternity leave. “I had a different supervisor each time I had a baby and they were all helpful. I’d go to them if I needed help with my workload and to make sure my timesheets were checked out—they made sure my transition in and out of maternity leave was as smooth as possible.”
Her first pumping session at Blue
When Brianna came back from maternity leave, she was breastfeeding and wanted to continue but wasn’t sure where she could go for privacy in the BCBSND building. “It was my first day back from maternity leave and I needed to pump. I wasn’t sure where to go so I went into the ladies’ locker room and went behind a curtain in the shower and started pumping. I heard somebody come in and they asked me if I was okay or if I was looking for a different room. I was very nervous and embarrassed at the time and told her that I couldn’t find another place to do this. She said, “Oh honey, we have a room for that.” If I would have known about the lactation lounge, I wouldn’t have been in that situation and I’m so grateful that she approached me and took initiative to inform me about the designated room for this.”
Experiencing the progress of infant friendly benefits
Now Brianna reflects on the progression and promotion of BCBSND’s infant friendly benefits since she started in 2013. “Those benefits have always been there but now they’re being shared with a lot of content—HR and supervisors are so helpful in promoting that. More people are talking about it and it’s becoming more of a face of our recruitment efforts,” says Brianna. “All my babies are Blue Cross babies and each time it was a drastically different experience as the infant friendly/prenatal benefits progressed.”
Brianna mentioned that the lactation lounge has made great strides since she’s started. Before it was called the lactation lounge it was labeled as the “Women’s Lounge” which was difficult for moms to know if that room was specifically used for breastfeeding purposes. Along with the new name, the lactation lounge also has a decaled window sticker saying, “Moms welcome here!”. It’s another way to point new moms in the right direction. The lactation lounge has all the resources mothers need and some moms have also used it as a way to pay it forward. “Mothers use the lounge as a way to pay it forward if they have extra supplies to donate so mothers aren’t in a pinch of a situation if they forget or don’t have something,” says Brianna. The lactation lounge is only accessible to approved employees and that makes moms feel secure using that area. “Using the lactation lounge was a great experience and I felt like I wasn’t just a number.”
Being a mom and having a career
Managing three little ones and building a successful career at BCBSND has been challenging, but Brianna welcomes the challenge. “I respect mothers that work from home and mothers that have careers,” states Brianna. “I also appreciate hard working stay at home moms—I chose the path to have a career and be a mom. It’s been a challenge and I’ve questioned myself if it’s possible, and at BCBSND it’s proven that it’s very possible to do both and be successful at both.”
Brianna’s supervisors provide her the opportunities and flexibility to achieve her work/life balance. Between prenatal, baby and well-child checkups Brianna stays very busy making sure her family is healthy. “Most appointments land during working hours and it’s nice to be able to work with my supervisor to make up those hours when I can so I can still get my work done,” says Brianna. “It’s never been questioned on what needs to be done to keep myself and my family healthy. The flexibility allows me to be a good mother and feel successful in my career.”
During Brianna’s seven years at Blue she’s experienced so many life changing events—getting married, buying a house and having her kids. “It’s kind of like your first home—the memories you make there will always be special and associated with that home,” explains Brianna. “It’s very much the same reason why I think this company is special; it’s always a reminder that these special things happened to me while I was here.”
Having the Blue family
Not everyone has the luxury to consider their co-workers and colleagues family, but for Brianna she feels grateful to add BCBSND to her family. “We’ve kind of adopted the term Blue family and that’s the family you spend most of your day with working on projects, attending meetings and socializing,” says Brianna. “I feel grateful to have my Blue family.”
Brianna has a message to share with soon to be mothers—“Congratulations, I’m really excited for you! I want you to know that you have access to resources, and we are all here for you. Let’s talk about it!”