Breastfeeding and returning to work
It can take several months to establish breastfeeding and build up a good milk supply, and where possible, mothers should delay returning to the work environment as long as they possibly can.
Many mothers want to carry on breastfeeding, which can get a little difficult when returning to work. Employers are required, as far as it reasonable and practicable, to provide appropriate breaks and facilities for those employees who wish to breastfeed their infants or express milk during work hours*. More information on these provisions can be found at the link here.
If expressing at work is not going to work for you, keep in mind that doesn't mean that you have to give up breastfeeding all together. You can still give your baby an early morning and night time feed – it is a very special time and your baby will appreciate having extra snuggles and feeds with mum at any time of the day. Your body will adjust to the new feeding schedule.
With regards to flexible working arrangements The Employment Relations (Flexible Working Arrangements) Amendment Act 2007 provides certain employees with the right to request a variation to their hours of work, days of work, or place of work. Check out details of the Act here.
It is worthwhile investigating early your employer's responsiveness to flexible working conditions which can make life as a parent so much more manageable and enjoyable. Increasingly employers are recognising that a good work life balance, and meeting the needs of families, can be conducive to happy, productive employees.
*These provisions have been in place since 1 April 2009, under section 69Y of the Employment Relations Act 2000.
Parents Centre is delighted to be partnering with Phlips AVENT for our newest programme, 'Return to Work'. Check out the link here for further details.