Returning to work doesn’t mean that you have to stop breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding exclusively (giving your baby no other food or drink) is recommended for around the first six months. After that time, breastfeeding is recommended alongside solid food (see the section on weaning). Therefore, it’s likely that you’ll be breastfeeding when you return to work or college.
The following information may help you:
Consider your baby’s age when planning to breastfeed and returning to work/study, your baby may be eating solid food during the day.
You can arrange for childcare close to work or college so that you can breastfeed during breaks, or before and after work. The evening feed can be a wonderful way for you to relax with your baby after work or college.
Ask your employer or college for flexible working hours that are arranged around your breastfeeding needs.
Think about it early. Before you go back to work, write to your employer/tutor to let them know that you are breastfeeding. You may have an HR department that can help. It can make preparations, such as finding you a private room where you can breastfeed or express your milk.
Have a trial run with childcare before returning to work, discuss things with your childminder such as providing her with labelled and dated expressed breast milk. See our section on Expressing breast milk
Before returning to work, you should give your employer written notification that you are breastfeeding. Your employer must then conduct a specific risk assessment of your workplace. They must take steps to protect your health and safety on your return to work.
There will always be a trained Infant Feeding Support Worker at these groups to offer help and advice on your breastfeeding journey. There will be other mums there too who can share their experiences with you and offer support. You are welcome to try as many of the groups as you like and in any area of Sheffield.
There is at least one Infant Feeding Peer Support Worker attached to every Family Hub (formerly known as Family Centres) in Sheffield. They can offer breastfeeding support over the telephone or on a one to one basis, at the groups, cafes and drop-ins they hold.
The primary aim of the Infant Feeding Peer Support Worker is to support mums to breastfeed but we recognise that you may need support however you choose to feed your child.
Family Hubs are there to support families from pregnancy through a child’s early years until they reach adulthood. They provide a range of services, depending on what’s needed locally. The services offered will not be the same everywhere, because needs and communities vary greatly. Types of services include:
information, advice and support for parents and carers
The Equality Act 2010 came into force in October 2010. It says that it is sex discrimination to treat a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding. It applies to anyone providing services, benefits, facilities and premises to the public, public bodies, further and higher education bodies and associations.
If you are breastfeeding in a public place such as a café, park, shop, cinema,, on a bus etc, you cannot be asked to stop or refused to be served. You are also protected on public transport such as buses, trains and planes.
However, many people still find it daunting to breastfeed in public places, so in Sheffield we have a list of venues which would like to show their support to breastfeeding mums and families. These places have been accredited with Sheffield’s Breastfeeding Friendly Award.
Click on the link below to see the current list of venues, by postcode area but do remember that you have a legal right to breastfeed anywhere and cannot be asked to leave or move.