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Talkback: Breastfeeding and expressing facilities to be provided at work


  • I think this is brilliant, as I have breastfed both my children after returning to work when they were 5 months (for economic reasons - my husband looks after the kids at home). I was fortunate enough to work at a place that provides a private 'quiet room' where I could go to express during my breaks and lunch hour (also prompted some good discussions on breastfeeding with colleagues). This eased my transition back to work (I didn't have to scale down daytime feeds before returning to prevent engorgement), and my LOs got expressed milk during the day - 2 ten-minute expresses with a hand pump gave me enough milk to cover the next day at home (supplemented by frozen cubes if necessary). It was discreet & easy - I just kept the pump & bottle in my lunchbag in the fridge, and ate lunch while expressing.

    I think all women who want to should be given this opportunity - the World Health Organisation encourages breastfeeding for the first 2 years, but currently very few mums continue past the first 6 months.

  • Its a good idea but does it really need to be 2 hours? For me that would have been the equivalent of 4 full feeds at 4mths old and a quarter of my working day.

    I used to take 15-20mins expressing and tied it into making the cups of tea or my lunchbreak, a maximum of 1 hr a day and if possible at the same times I would have been feeding at home but at twice the speed since baby can only feed from one breast at a time but I expressed both at the same time.

    If you are not working whilst at work collegues have to pick up the slack and end up resenting having to do so. Mine knew what I was doing and it did prompt some conversations about breastfeeding but all some of them cared about was that they got their cup of tea a bit more regularly. I fed my daughter for 4 mths this way until she was 9mths old and dropped her daytime feeds naturally.
  • Does anyone have any information on employee rights around expressing at work? or have you had experience of difficulties?
  • this is a really good idea but i don't think as a breastfeeding mum it's very practical. it's also not fair on formula fed mums as they don't get time to go and feed their baby at work. i managed my feeding around work wih flexible hours plus my baby was 7mth when i went back and had formula in the day and breastmilk when i was home. it would be money well spent on increasing paid maternity leave rather than finding a cupboard to express in.
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