Working with Your Employer
About a week before returning to work can be a good time to drop by the workplace to discuss your needs with your supervisor. These needs are simple: three 15-minute breaks during the day and a private place to pump. Ideally there will be a sink for washing up and a refrigerator for milk storage, but many mothers manage by washing up in the bathroom and store milk in a cooler. Some mothers have private offices where they can pump without interruption. Other women may need to arrange to use a private corner or a vacant conference room. In a worst-case scenario, moms can even pump in a bathroom, although this is not the cleanest environment.
Many businesses are now aware that breastfed babies are sick less often and their mothers miss fewer days of work; reduced absenteeism results in big savings. In addition, insurance premiums are lower when babies stay healthy. Lower re-training costs, greater employee loyalty, and higher productivity have all resulted when companies assist breastfeeding moms. If your company hasn't heard about these benefits to businesses, this is a good time to mention it.
Progressive companies often provide on-site pumping rooms. Most of these companies began to offer this support when breastfeeding employees made them aware of their needs.
Working and Breastfeeding: Is It Worth It?
Employed mothers often have ambivalent feelings about returning to work. Over the years, many have shared that beyond the obvious health benefits of continuing to breastfeed, they especially valued the continued intimacy with their baby. Breastfeeding protects the mother-child bond in a way that few other activities can. So while there are logistics to master, the rewards and satisfaction of combining working and breastfeeding are great. With planning, good equipment, and support from spouses and employers, breastfeeding works for working mothers.