Breastfeeding & The Workplace

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August 01, 2023
2 min read

Did you know that workplace challenges are the most common reason why women choose not to breastfeed or end their breastfeeding journey earlier than recommended? 

It’s time to change that!

We all know that women need adequate time and support to breastfeed successfully. 

Studies have shown that women with less than three months of maternity leave tend to breastfeed for shorter durations compared to those with three or more months of leave – this isn’t to guilt woman who choose to go back earlier it’s about creating choices for women. 

Creating a breastfeeding-friendly workplace is essential. 

Surprisingly, only 42 countries globally mandate workplace breastfeeding facilities. 

So what can employers do? Here’s 3 things!

No. 1: Establish designated lactation spaces: to provide privacy and comfort.

These spaces should be equipped with:

  •  comfortable seating,
  •  electrical outlets for breast pumps, and 
  • a refrigerator for storing expressed milk. 

No. 2: Flexible scheduling and breaks to accommodate lactation needs. 

This can involve:

  •  providing additional breaks for pumping or breastfeeding during working hours, 
  • allowing employees to adjust their schedules to fit their breastfeeding routine, or 
  • offering options for remote or part-time work to help ease the transition back to work

No. 3: Educate and train managers and coworkers about the importance of supporting breastfeeding mothers. 

This training can cover topics such as:

  •  understanding the needs and challenges, 
  • promoting a respectful and inclusive work environment, and 
  • addressing any concerns or misconceptions about breastfeeding in the workplace. 

If you’re based in Australia there are 2 great documents from the Australian breastfeeding association:

Breastfeeding and Work: Approaching your employer here

Breastfeeding and Work: Your rights at work here

Let’s encourage more employers to step up and become breastfeeding-friendly!

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