Breastfeeding and returning to work
Join the many women who continue breastfeeding after returning to work!
Why continue to breastfeed?
Your baby needs only breastmilk for the first six months, and you can continue to breastfeed for up to two years and beyond. Solid foods are to be introduced at six months.
Continued breastfeeding is important for your baby because it:
Benefits brain development;
Protects against illnesses such as colds, coughs, ear infections;
Helps to reduce allergies;
Reduces risk of obesity and heart disease; and
Reduces risk of juvenile diabetes and some childhood cancers.
Mothers who continue to breastfeed have:
Reduced risk of some cancers; and
Less chance of osteoporosis
Call a Public Health Nurse about one month before returning to work to talk over your breastfeeding options.
Adjusting feeding routines
Maintaining or adjusting your milk supply
Using cups and bottles*
Expressing or pumping
Storing breast milk
Choosing a child care provider who supports breastfeeding
Talking to your employer about your plan
Understanding your rights to continue breastfeeding
Knowing your employer’s responsibilities
*Early introduction of bottles can affect your milk supply. In most cases, you can introduce a cup for babies over eight months old, depending on the child.
Breastfeed before you leave for work and when you return home
Find a convenient time and place for pumping or breastfeeding at work
Look at a photo of your baby while pumping to help with milk flow
Pump twice during a 7-8 hour shift to maintain your milk supply
Store breast milk in a refrigerator at work or in a cooler bag with an ice pack.
Call Region of Peel – Public Health for an information sheet on storing and thawing breast milk.
For more information and help:
Region of Peel – Public Health
Ontario Human Rights Commission
La Leche League Canada
Child Development Resource Connection of Peel
(child care information) 905-890-9432
Human Rights & Social Development Canada
(maternity leave, jobs, training) 905-790-2525 Hrsdc.gc.ca
The Ontario Human Rights Commission says: Women should not be discriminated against in any way because they have chosen to breastfeed. A supportive environment can be created with minimal disruption.
Information for Employers
There are many benefits for employers who support working mothers and breastfeeding.
Reduced absenteeism by parents of healthy breastfed babies
Reduced health benefit costs
Improved retention of female employees
Greater employee loyalty is found in family-friendly workplaces
For employer responsibilities, please see the Policy on Discrimination Because of Pregnancy and Breastfeeding from the Ontario Human Rights commission. It’s the law.
For more information on comprehensive workplace health, visit: accountforhealth.ca
Information provided by the Region of Peel