September 25, 2015
World Breastfeeding Week October 1-7, 2015
Supporting breastfeeding mothers and babies in the workplace is the focus of this year's World Breastfeeding Week October 1-7, 2015.
Prairie North Health Region (PNHR) is encouraging all businesses, agencies, and organizations to consider what they can do to support breastfeeding moms and babies in the workplace as breastfeeding mothers return to work.
Breastfeeding and returning to work can be supported in many ways, from having flexible hours for new moms coming back to their jobs, to providing space in the workplace for a mom to breastfeed her infant or express her breastmilk.
PNHR Breastfeeding Support Nurse Naida Hawkins was supported by her workplace to express breastmilk for her daughter when she (Naida) returned to her job.
“I found it such a big transition coming back to work and I was grateful that my manager supported me in my efforts to continue to provide my little girl with the benefits of breastmilk. I was given time to pump and store my milk and could breastfeed my daughter in the workplace when she could be brought to me,” explained Hawkins.
Breastfeeding while returning to work also provides a level of connection that can help support mom and baby through this time of change. “Breastfeeding was my anchor to my baby on days we had to be apart,” said Delia Massey, another new mother who recently returned to her job. “Being able to continue to nurse my baby in the workplace provided an immeasurable level of protection for her, a connection to the comfort of our days together, and reassurance for both of us that little had changed.”
The World Health Organization (WHO), which endorses breastfeeding of infants to age two years and beyond, looked at the benefits of breastfeeding support in the workplace as new moms transition back to their jobs. The WHO found that working mothers with adequate maternity benefits including a breastfeeding supportive workplace report increased job satisfaction and greater loyalty to their employers. Additionally, breastfed children fall sick less often, so their mothers are absent from work less often too.
These effects in turn contribute to higher productivity, ultimately benefiting businesses and the larger economies to which they contribute.
If you are a mom returning to work or a business/organization that employs working mothers, and you would like more information about ‘Breastfeeding and Work', please contact a PNHR lactation professional in:
- Meadow Lake 306-236-1570
- North Battleford 306-446-8632
- Lloydminster 306-820-6233
For a print-friendly version of the news release, click here.