Let’s Make it Work
Breastfeeding and Work Let’s Make it Work is this year’s breastfeeding week theme AND what a fantastic theme it is because it really addresses one of the challenges and fears that many mother face – what happens when I have to go back to work?
Breastfeeding is still possible if you are going back to work, it is maybe just not as easy as it was when you were home with your little one. One of the KEY strategies to ensure there is enough breast milk at home for your little one, is to learn how to express your breast milk. You can express breast milk by hand (see this AWESOME video showing the correct technique) or by using a pump. For advice on which pump would be best for you, visit a dietitian or lactation consultant.
Tips for how to deal with returning to work and breastfeeding
- Ensure you feed your little one by breastfeeding before leaving for work
- Visit a dietitian and/ or lactation consultant so they can help you calculate how much milk you need to express during the day
- Feed your little one as soon as you get home by breastfeeding
- For babies older than 6 months, make sure the caregiver doesn’t give your little one a big meal/ snack before you get home, a smaller snack will be better as your little one with then happily breastfeed and it may also relieve some engorgement
- Ensure you know how to hand express
- Ensure you have a pump that suits your needs (different pumps are required depending on the number of hours you work i.e. part-time vs. full-time) – get advice if you need some
- Build up a milk supply before returning to work – this means that you will be able to express breast milk (while you are still at home and haven’t returned to work) and store it for later.
Here is a link to a video you can watch for more tips on breastfeeding in the work place
Watch this space, in the next blog post we will chat a little about storing breast milk … BUT first…
Breastfeeding and work laws
Did you know?
There is a South African Labour Law ‘Basic conditions of employment act, 1997 Code of Good Practice on the protection of employees during pregnancy and after the birth of a child.’
This law says:
‘Arrangements should be made for employees who are breastfeeding to have breaks of 30 minutes twice per day for breastfeeding or expressing milk each working day for the first six months of the child’s life.’
Ensure that you and your family knows what your rights are. By law, your company needs to allow you time to express. So you see, it is possible to breastfeed and go back to work.. if you make it work, it can work.