Is Your Workplace Breastfeeding Friendly?

 

Is Your Workplace Breastfeeding Friendly?It’s been a few months and you realize it’s time to get back to work. The last few weeks have been great; extremely emotional, but beautiful. How could you simply get back to work when your baby needs you? You’ve nursed them since day one, grown to understand each one of their cries, have developed some sort of routine where waking up every hour to breastfeed only happens once or twice a week, and hey, not to mention time off from work and your husband waiting on you hand and foot. But that time is over now and you need to head back to the office, and back to the money-making reality. Before this can happen you need to make sure your workplace is breastfeeding friendly.

You’ve done it this far and you know all about the amazing benefits breastfeeding can provide, not only for your child but for yourself as well. You can’t just give up because you have to pump in a pencil skirt rather than the comfy wirefree bra and relaxing shirt you’ve been living in for the past two months. Breast pumping at work isn’t all that intimidating, but before you begin to do it you need to know the facts and be able to ask the right questions!

It’s always important to know your laws, especially laws concerning women and breastfeeding within your state. Each state varies on their conditions about breast pumping at work. In the state of Ohio, a mother who is breastfeeding is entitled to breastfeed their baby in any location of a place of public accommodation wherein the mother is otherwise permitted. This law also says employers must provide breastfeeding mothers reasonable break time, without compensating pay or time needed for pumping, and they must give you a space to do this in. This does NOT mean a bathroom.

For your benefit it would be essential to call your HR office ahead of time to find out your company policies and where you can pump while you’re at work. This way you’ll be well prepared and ready to go. It would also be beneficial to speak to your employer about your needs and accommodations. Unfortunately, you won’t get the lavish room filled with a masseuse or attractive men who feed you chocolates. But you need to make sure you are comfortable because you’re going to be spending a lot of time in this space. Make sure you tell your employer you need a reasonable chair for breast pumping, at least one outlet to charge your pump, and that it’s private, that way Bob, who has the cubicle next to yours, doesn’t accidently walk in and… SURPRISE! If the room doesn’t have a lock on the door ask for a Do Not Disturb sign and buy yourself a nursing cover.

It’s imperative for you to know if your workplace is breastfeeding friendly. Don’t be nervous, it’s OKAY to ask questions, and it’s even better to stand up for your rights!