Breastfeeding alone is not a joke. How much more if you are breastfeeding, at the same time, working? Hang in there mommy, we feel you. That is why in this article we will go through breastfeeding and returning to work Kellymom style.
Before anything else, allow us to say these to you. Yes, you! You are wonderful. You are one amazing, selfless mom. You think about giving only the best for your child, his welfare, his well-being. You should be proud of yourself, and we are so proud of you.
In how many weeks or days maybe, you are already returning to work. Perhaps you are having a hard time thinking about how to do both – exclusively breastfeeding your baby, at the same time, work. We understand not all moms are lucky enough to choose only one. That is why we are here. We will do our best to give you ideas on breastfeeding and returning to work Kellymom style.
First of all, you must be wondering what Kellymom is all about. Kellymom is a website dedicated to helping mommies on breastfeeding and parenting issues. Based on the website, Kellymom was created by a mom of three, who is a member of the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Apart from having the website, Kellymom also has a Facebook Community, which is specifically dedicate to mothers.
Now, particularly for first-time moms, the thought of breastfeeding and working seems impossible. It seems hard. But let us tell you this, it is possible. All you got to do is trust and be patient with yourself. Of course, it will be challenging at first but with patience and determination plus the love for your child, you will be able to do it. You can do it.
Breastfeeding at Work: It Is Possible
Yes, you read it right. Gone are the days when people think about breastfeeding as something that can only be done at home. You can feed your baby with the best milk, food ever even while at work!
It is safe to say that anywhere in the world today, most people especially health practitioners are breastfeeding advocates. With the so many good benefits of breastfeeding, who wouldn’t want to give it to their child, right?
Breastfeeding and returning to work Kellymom can go hand in hand. After all, breastfeeding these days do not only pertain to the act of lactation directly to the mommy’s boob, but also that of cup feeding or bottle feeding mommy’s milk.
Know Your Rights, Mom
Before returning to work, it would be beneficial for you to research your rights as an employee in terms of breastfeeding. Also, ask, get to know our company policies on this. It is better to know if the company you belong to or planning to get into supports breastfeeding mommies. The support of your company is a major factor to make successful breastfeeding and returning to work Kellymom journey.
Apart from checking whether or not your employer or prospective employer is a breastfeeding advocate, you should also communicate to them your breastfeeding plans. This will also help them adjust – as you know, when you decide to breastfeed your baby, that means you need extra time at work to pump your milk.
Since the implementation of the “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” provision under the Fair Labor Standards Act in 2010, it has helped breastfeeding and working possible for mothers all over the country.
Just in case you do not know yet, in Section 7 of FLSA, it says that employers should “provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk.”
For further information, here are some of the key points about “Break Time for Nursing Mothers”:
Who Is Covered: The “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” law applies to all nursing employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Lactation Room: Based on the law, employers are required to provide lactating mothers with a proper place or a specific room inside the office – definitely, not on the bathroom — where they can pump breast milk for their babies. The space the employer will provide does not necessarily have to be permanent, but they must ensure that it is available for use anytime.
Time Allotment: As mentioned earlier, the law requires employers to give a reasonable break time for nursing moms. They should recognize that the length and number of times an employee takes a lactation break depends from mother to mother. The time needed to prepare the pumps, the pumping session itself, storing the milk, gathering and cleaning up your pumping supplies must be taken into consideration when implementing the lactation break. Unless the employee uses a paid break, the law does not require employers to pay for the added break time.
Who Enforces the Law: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) is the government entity that is responsible for making sure that the law is properly implemented.
Business Implementer: All businesses are required to properly implement and follow the law. Failure to do so will face necessary sanctions.
Now that you already know the law that protects your right as an employee to continue breastfeeding even while at work, let’s move on to the resources on breastfeeding and returning to work Kellymom.
Thanks to Kellymom.com, they have listed down a few resources that nursing mothers can check in order for them to understand and know how to continue breastfeeding even while at work.
According to the website, here are some of the offline and online resources for working, breastfeeding moms:
Traveling as a Pumping Mother – Nicole Goodman
Travelling with Breast Milk – Robyn Roche – Paull, BSN, RNC-MNN, IBCLC.
Milk Expression Tips & Pump Information – KellyMom
Exclusive Pumping – KellyMom
Breastmilk Storage and Handling – KellyMom
Furthermore, here are other resources — also suggested by Kellymom.com — that may be helpful for you:
Supporting Nursing Moms at Work: Employer Solutions, from the Office on Women’s Health (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) – This resource contains information that is helpful for both mothers and their employers. If focuses on cost-effective tips and solutions for both parties.
The Business Case for Breastfeeding – This pertains to an all-inclusive program specifically written to help educate employers about the value of breastfeeding. The program aims to encourage employers to support their breastfeeding employees on their lactation journey.
Breastfeeding Women and Work – This comes from the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), “a global network of individuals and organizations concerned with the protection, promotion & support of breastfeeding worldwide.”
Mother-Friendly Worksite Policy Initiative – This initiative originates in the State of Texas. It is recognized countrywide by the Center for Training and Research Translation as a practice-tested involvement for Worksite Wellness.
Breastfeeding Coalition – They offer various resources about supporting breastfeeding in the workplace, as well as in childcare centers.
Lactation support information from University of Michigan Work/Life Center – It includes information on how bosses can support their breastfeeding employees. They offer a guide to setting up a lactation room, etc.
For more resources on this matter, you may visit the Kellymom.com.
The idea of breastfeeding and returning to work kellymom may be overwhelming at first. But, with the right information and proper support from your workplace, it should be easy.
Remember, there is no such thing as impossible for a mom who loves and cares so much for her child. The working community must and should understand that. After all, all of us wants nothing else but the best for our children.
So, for you, mommy who is either going back to work soon after your maternity leave or maybe have gone through a hiatus from working and is planning to go back, know that you can have the best of both worlds — breastfeeding and returning to work kellymom is possible.