World Breastfeeding Week - Breastfeeding at work
Author: Emily Date Posted:1 August 2015
World Breastfeeding Week 1 - 7 August 2015
Breastfeeding at Work. Let's Make it Work!
Welcome to World Breastfeeding Week. Every year a topic is selected to promote and encourage breastfeeding mother's rights. This year, the selected topic is Breastfeeding at Work, Let's Make it Work!
In Australia, 22% of new mums return to work within their babies first 6 months, the recommended time for breastmilk to be the main source of food. However, studies have shown that returning to work has had negative effects on continuing breastfeeding. Many factors contribute to this decline, including the lack of workplace support and access to private areas. This year, worldbreastfeedingweek.org are promoting the issues of breastfeeding mums returning to work to inform and encourage workplaces to become more supportive of the needs of these employees. After all, it is not so much the wants of the mothers, but the needs of the little babies!
If you are planning to return to work, there are a few things that you could request from your employer to support your needs if you want to continue breastfeeding. These are:
- A private, lockable and clean area for you to express. You will need a comfortable seat and access to a power point.
- Additional breaks to express when you would normally breastfeed
- Time to breastfeed if you are able to have a carer bring your baby to you
- General support and privacy of your expressing/breastfeeding needs
Are you planning on returning to work, or have done in the past? Let us know your concerns or how this affected you in the comments below to assist other new mums.
I returned to work when my son was only 5 months old and tried expressing at work. There was a lack of communication between myself and the workplace, that left me feeling uncomfortable and not completely supported with insufficient space and privacy. My breastmilk supply quickly reduced as I felt uncomfortable taking extra breaks and wasn't relaxed while expressing. Apart from the items required to enable expressing at work, I strongly believe the biggest requirement for you is open communication and support from your workplace to help you feel comfortable.
If you would like more information on breastfeeding an returning to work, you may find these helpful:
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