World Breastfeeding Week 2024

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Health Assured team

01 August 2023

World Breastfeeding Week happens from the 1st to 7th of August 2024 and helped to raise awareness on the importance of supporting mothers who choose to breastfeed their children. When it comes to returning to the workplace, many mothers may still feel unsure of how their needs will be met, and what the reaction from their organisation may be.

To reassure your people, and keep them supported in the best possible ways, here’s how organisations can support mothers returning to work.

Speak Up First

A new mother shouldn’t have to do the work in asking and chasing up the support available from the organisation they work for. Be sure that you’ve already made it clear how supportive you are of new nursing mothers, how you can help them, and what the next steps are as they return to work.

While organisations are legally required to provide a place for breastfeeding mothers to rest or lie down, never make it seem as if their breastfeeding needs are difficult to accommodate, or something your people need to tiptoe around.

Make Sure They Have Regular Breaks

There’s no law that states organisations must provide more breaks for people who breastfeed. However, it’s common sense and good workplace practice to help a breastfeeding mother making a return to work by allowing some extra comfort breaks.

Don’t be afraid to ask mothers expressing breast milk how long they need for their breaks, and how many times a day they need it. Always be the first to address these issues respectfully, as setting up pumps and storing breast milk may take around 20 minutes.

Be the First to Offer Flexible Working

Offering some temporary adjustments to their working hours can also be a huge benefit to people who are currently breastfeeding. Working together, there’s no reason why organisations and individuals can’t compromise on a work schedule that’s beneficial for both sides.

Look at ways to Provide Private Facilities

For as long as a mother decides to breastfeed, organisations are required to offer a suitable place for them to express milk, as well as lie down and rest. The space in question needs to be clean, lockable, and comfortable. It must also include a clean fridge for breast milk to be stored in and washing facilities (a toilet is not an appropriate space for this).

Health Assured and the Wellbeing of your People

Welcoming and supporting the needs of your individual team members sets a clear standard across all levels of your organisation for how valued each person within your team truly is. By doing so, you develop better relationships with people, increase retention, and improve the overall wellbeing of your people in the process.

These benefits can then be focused and channelled towards the long-term goals of your organisation, safe in the knowledge you have an appreciative and driven group of people behind you, eager to succeed and reward your past support.

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