Balancing work and family life have always been a challenge for women. Although much has been achieved through the Maternity Benefit Act to protect the rights of working mothers, yet globally there are still miles to go. It is important that each one of us stands up in support of the breastfeeding mothers. We need to accommodate and participate in making our surroundings breastfeeding friendly.
Some of the concerns of breastfeeding working mothers:
- Can I continue to breastfeed when I resume working?
Almost women of every line of work are continuing to breastfeed, college students, teachers, administrative staff, members of armed forces, heads of cooperates and well-known celebrities too.
- How to sustain it while I resume working?
The breast milk can be expressed by hand or by manual/electric pumps for feeding your babies later. Nurse your baby just before leaving for work and as soon as you return. Be sure to pump your milk at work as often as you would nurse your baby at home.
- Is it hygienic and safe to express and store?
Wash your hands before you express. Put it in the clean container. Expressed milk can be stored for up to 8 hours at room temperature and for 24 hours in the refrigerator.
- How should I plan before I resume to work?
Try to take your maternity leave from the day of your delivery or a few days before, if not advised by your obstetrician to take earlier, for your baby or you. During your maternity leave breastfeed your child often. The more you feed your baby, the more is the supply. Before you join, do at least one practice run of leaving your baby with your caregiver. Do this in those hours of the day when you have to work.If your company permits, plan for part time or work from home for initial few days.
- This one is for the employers
By supporting breastfeeding employees increase their productivity by reducing their health care cost, lowering absenteeism, improving employee morale.
So let’s employer and employee together make new ways to make breastfeeding a success for all the working mothers.