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:

Weight loss;

Reduced risk of some cancers; and

Less chance of osteoporosis

Planning Ahead

Call a Public Health Nurse about one month before returning to work to talk over your breastfeeding options.

Adjusting feeding routines
Scheduling work

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.

More tips:

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

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:

Information provided by the Region of Peel

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