Breast is best – that’s the long established advice for mums when they are choosing how to feed their babies.
But many new mothers are worried about how they will continue breast feeding after they have returned to work – particularly about the reaction of male colleagues if they need to express milk while at work. Women worry that they will offend their boss or colleagues by taking breaks to use a breast pump, although it is essential if they want to keep going with breast feeding.
But there is advice for new mums from organizations like the NHS and Health and Safety Executive.
Tips include planning ahead, and talking it through with your employer before going on maternity leave.
It is good to explain that breastfed babies are likely to be healthier, and that should mean less time off work in the long run.
Employment law in the UK gives women the right to decide how long they wish to continue breastfeeding their child, and the Workplace Regulations and Approved Code of Practice require employers to provide suitable and hygienic facilities. The toilets will not do! The area should be private, healthy and safe.
With a little flexibility there’s no reason why breastfeeding should cause too many problems at work- just remember if you’re keeping your breast milk in a fridge shared by your co-workers to label it clearly!