What is a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace?

What is a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace?

It’s true that breastfeeding helps children get the best start in their life. It allows cognitive development in children, secure attachment between parents and children, and reduces childhood and maternal illness. For new moms, it is not only hard to establish breastfeeding but also difficult to maintain a balance between your professional duties and your breastfeeding schedule. Many moms who return to work want to continue breastfeeding their babies.

As a new mom, you may be worried about maintaining the breastfeeding schedule at work. This can be challenging in many ways. However, by taking into consideration your workplace arrangements, you can now continue breastfeeding your child. Several workplaces are working toward getting a breastfeeding-friendly accreditation. A breastfeeding-friendly workplace will allow you to work and take care of your baby’s needs at the same time. 

Some key elements that are associated with a breastfeeding-friendly workplace are:

  • Proper time allocation for feeding

Several workplaces support their employees' breastfeeding journey by allocating proper time during the day for breastfeeding or expressing breast milk. Maybe you are one of those lucky moms who have their babies nearby your workplace. In a supportive workplace, you can have the baby brought to you or visit the baby to breastfeed when needed. Other moms can maintain their breastfeeding schedule by feeding their baby before and after work. Whatever option you go with, breastfeeding-friendly workplaces support your decision. 

Some moms may want to express and store milk for the little one to have at daycare. Most breastfeeding-friendly organizations give two 30-minute lactation breaks in an eight-hour shift for up to a year after childbirth. After that, mothers can adopt a more flexible approach and express during regular breaks. The policies in a breastfeeding-friendly workplace help you to reconcile work and child responsibilities. This helps you to advance the well-being and development of your children while giving you peace of mind at the same time. 

  • Lactation room for breastfeeding

Whether you want to breastfeed or express breast milk for later use, having a lactation room in your workplace can make it a lot easier. Although it is possible to breastfeed and express milk anywhere, a lot of new moms do not feel comfortable due to less experience with the process. Hence, breastfeeding-friendly workplaces have a private and comfortable space where moms are allowed to breastfeed or express milk. If your workplace does not have a lactation room, discuss it with an employer. The allocated space should have a chair, a table, and a socket so that you can connect the breast pump. Some workplaces also have a refrigerator to store the milk. If it is not common practice in your area to allocate a refrigerator for the purpose, you and your employer can discuss other options.

  • Complete support from colleagues and employer

In a breastfeeding-friendly workplace, the employees can discuss their concerns and plans with employers. Several places of work support breastfeeding practices by allowing moms to take sick leave or half-days if dealing with lactation issues. Before returning to work, discuss your plans with fellow employees or employers to make it easier for yourself. You can also recommend or request services that can make your breastfeeding experience a lot better.

Breastfeeding your child while working can be stressful for many moms. This is why breastfeeding-friendly accreditation by an organization allows you to practice breastfeeding in a much more comfortable manner. It is important that you discuss the options and facilities you can be provided at the workplace with your employer. If your workplace is not accredited, however, it is never too late to suggest a change. Breastfeeding-friendly workplaces have a higher employee satisfaction rate and lower turnover.

Further Reading:

https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/workplace

https://www.hrmonline.com.au/section/specialist-hr/breastfeeding-friendly-work-environment-important-for-returning-mothers/

 

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