Do I need to stop breastfeeding when I return to work?
So, you have reached the end of your maternity leave. You have your back to work date, childcare is in place and you have planned to within an inch of your life so you know it will all go smoothly. There’s just one thing bothering you, what are you going to do about breastfeeding? You don’t want to stop but how will you go all day at work without expressing? Well, it’s a common scenario faced by many mums returning to work.
Unfortunately, some mums feel work won’t support them so they stop breastfeeding before they are emotionally ready - a compromise mums shouldn’t have to make.
There are many horror stories! I know of a mum that had to express milk in the disabled toilet because it was the only private space she could find and we all know the dreaded milk leakage that you can’t hide and how uncomfortable it is when you need to pump.
Here are a few pointers:
If your childcare provider is within close proximity to your workplace, you could see if it’s possible to visit your baby during the day and breastfeed as normal.
If this isn’t an option, you can express breastmilk whilst at work. Firstly you must inform your employer that you intend to continue breastfeeding and they will then complete a specific risk-assessment. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommends that it is good practice