After spending a few months navigating the countless adventures of becoming a mom, the thought of returning to work can be quite intimidating. Don’t let it be. Begin talking to your employer about your breastfeeding needs and come up with a plan for pumping at work. Also, reach out to other breastfeeding or pumping moms to see what may have worked for them. We’ll walk you through some tips for communicating with your employer, so your breastfeeding goals can be supported in the workplace.
Explain the benefits of breastfeeding. Make sure your employer is familiar with the benefits of breastfeeding and talk about why it’s so important to you. Remember, breastfed babies typically have fewer and less severe illnesses, so that means less time off work caring for a sick baby. Also, it can be valuable to mention that the AAP recommends moms provide breast milk for a baby’s first year of life, and you want to do everything to give your baby the best start possible.
Know your rights. Employers are required by law to provide “reasonable break” of time for moms to provide breast milk for their babies in a place other than a bathroom. So, work with your employer to determine what breaks you’ll take and where you’ll pump. Some moms have the privacy of their own office to pump in, while others find empty offices or meeting rooms a comfortable option. Regardless, make sure you’re able to agree on a place where you feel comfortable. Communicating these plans allows your employer to understand how you’ll manage your workload and responsibilities as a mother. Most likely after this understanding is reached, you’ll have an employer who gladly supports your breastfeeding goals.
Be honest about your needs. You know your body best, so make sure you’re able to create a workplace environment that supports your breastfeeding goals. Explain how often you need to pump in order to maintain supply, and ensure you have a comfortable and private place to do so. You’ll be a more focused and productive employee when you don’t have to stress about the nourishment of your little one.
How did you talk to your employer about your pumping needs? Share your experiences in the comments below.