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Breastfeeding at work: Rights and recommendations

working mom holding her baby

Key points:

  1. Many workplaces have policies to support breastfeeding mothers returning to work.
  2. Breastfeeding or expressing milk at work requires planning and preparation, including having a breast pump, clean containers, and access to a private space.
  3. Consistent pumping at regular intervals is important to maintain milk production.
  4. A balanced diet, relaxation, and even looking at photos of your baby can help support milk production while at work.

Time has come when you are ready to return to your work, and you want to continue breastfeeding. Here are some things to look out for.

Get to know your rights at work. To promote breastfeeding, many workplaces allow mothers under lactation to arrive 30 minutes later and/or leave 30 minutes earlier. On the other hand, if work is near your home or daycare, great! You can breastfeed or extract milk during your breaks. If you can’t go to your baby during your breaks, maybe a family member can take him to your workplace for feeding. If this is also not possible, don’t worry!  You can extract your milk and store it.

What to do to extract milk at work?

  • Bring a good breast bump.
  • Don’t forget to always carry clean containers to collect the milk.
  • Have access to a refrigerator or a cooler to store your milk.
  • Find out if there is a lactation room or exclusive place where you can have privacy.
  • In order to avoid stains on your shirt, place cotton in your bra.
  • Practice using your breast bump at home, if you have not used it yet; that way you won’t have any problems at work.
  • It’s best to have milk stored at home, in case extraction is not possible.
  • As milk production varies from time to time, try to extract milk at the same time every day, ideally every two or three hours.
  • Have a balanced diet.
  • Have a photo or video of your baby with you; this could instigate the production of breast milk.
  • Finally, make an effort to be as relaxed as possible, since stress is the enemy of extracting milk.

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