PLANNING AHEAD

  1. While pregnant and before you go on parental leave, ask your employer about flexible work options available for when you return; part-time, job-share, reduced daily working hours, flexible start, break and finish times etc.

 

  1. There is no requirement for women to inform their employers if they are breastfeeding when they return to work however, if you feel comfortable letting your employer know, they may be able to help you to continue breastfeeding.

 

  1. Consider how you can manage breastfeeding and returning to work. This may initially depend on how old the baby is at the time you return. Some options are:

a. Work part-time or flexible hours

b. Work some hours from home

c. Your partner or other carer brings the baby to you at work for feeding

d. You meet the baby and carer at a close appropriate site

e. You go to where the baby is to feed, e.g. home, crèche, carer's place, etc

f. You express and store breastmilk at work, to be fed to your baby the following day

g. You feed the baby before and after work and on days when you are not working

Remember: Each baby’s breastfeeding pattern is different and will change over time. The pattern in which you feed at one month is different at six months and different again at nine and twelve months.

 

  1. Discuss various options with your employer;

a. For returning to work; hours, breaks, etc

b. For obtaining support; access to private space, formal support, documented agreement etc

 

  1. Arrange to have a ‘return to work’ meeting about a month before you plan to return.

 

  1. On return to work, confirm arrangements. Be prepared to change them if it is not working out. Keep your manager informed of how things are going.