Breastfeeding Friendly Workplaces – World Breastfeeding Week
1st – 7th August is World Breastfeeding Week, a time to celebrate, raise awareness of and share stories about all things breastfeeding. The week is coordinated by the WABA (World Alliance on Breastfeeding Action) and is kind of a big deal.
The theme for this year’s World Breastfeeding Week is ‘Let’s Make it Work’ – a bit of a naff way of saying let’s support women to combine breastfeeding and work, however that works for them.
Working as a breastfeeding mum can be really hard, especially in the early days. I had to go back to work when the Stuntman was only 7 months old, which was hard in itself, and having to express breastmilk added another level of complexity to an already emotional time.
I pumped twice a day for six months, and then once a day for the next six months after that. I was lucky in that I had a fairly supportive boss who was happy for me to have extra break time to pump, but our office is small and mostly open plan, so finding a private place to pump was quite challenging.
Then there were the additional challenges of storing and transporting the pumped milk home, and figuring out what to do when out at work-related events. Worrying about your supply and wondering if your baby is going to end up preferring a bottle to your boobs is also always top of mind.
We’re really lucky in Australia to have a program called ‘Breastfeeding Friendly Workplaces’ which is run by the Australian Breastfeeding Association. BFW is an accreditation program, whereby employers nominate to be audited by the BFW team to ascertain whether they are breastfeeding-friendly, and to provide advice on how to improve things if they’re not. Having BFW accreditation can be a big draw card as an employer, as it demonstrates that an employer is committed to addressing the needs of their employees.
The key elements of support that breastfeeding mums require to successfully combine breastfeeding and work have been identified as:
- a private, comfortable space to breastfeed or express breastmilk
- time during the working day to breastfeed or express
- support from their employer and colleagues.
Other things you might need include a small cooler bag to transport your milk home, a radio (to drown out the drone of the pump!) and a power socket to plug the pump into.
It doesn’t seem too much to ask does it? But sadly, many breastfeeding mums who return to work just don’t have these supports and so their breastfeeding relationship with their baby is forced to come to an end.
To celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, Parent Talk Australia is running an amazing giveaway.
You could win the NEW Ergobaby Natural Curve Nursing Pillow RRP $129.00
OR the Ergobaby Four Position 360 Carrier – Dusty Blue RRP $229.00.
When you enter the competition you’ll also go on the Parent Talk Australia mailing list to get the Top 5 Parenting Posts weekly. You can unsubscribe at any time, but trust me, you won’t want to, there are some awesome posts shared on the page!
The competition closes at 5.00pm on Friday 7 August 2015.
Enter via Rafflecopter below by telling us what you found to be the best thing about pregnancy. (The winner will be the answer that makes us go ‘aaaaaw’ the most!
Breastfeeding is an amazing experience, and I feel very privileged that I’ve been able to breastfeed both of my kids into toddlerhood. In fact, my little Stuntman has just turned two, and we’re still going strong, despite me returning to work nearly 18 months ago.
If you’re about to return to work, or have returned to work and are facing some barriers, make sure your employer is aware of the Breastfeeding Friendly Workplaces program!
Did you pump at work? What could/would have helped you combine breastfeeding and work?