M.K. asks from Roy, UT on September 15, 2008
New Breastfeeding Mom Going Back to Work
I am a new mom of a 3 week old boy which I am currently breastfeeding. But I plan on going back to work here in about a week or two and I will be working about 7 to 8 hours a day. I'm wondering what I do if I can't feed him or pump. Currently it is painful to go any longer than 3 to 4 hours without pumping or feeding my precious little one. I wish that work places were more understanding to new mothers that are wanting to continue to breastfeed and give us extended time arrangements to take care of business.
1 mom found this helpful
J.O. answers from Denver on September 16, 2008
What type of workplace are you in? Let us other moms know. That may help in the advice we can give you.
S.S. answers from Denver on September 16, 2008
I spoke with the HR Dept about needing to pump while at work and they made special arrangements with a small office that had a lock. I didn't have a lock on my office door and wasn't comfy pumping in their in case someone would have walk in. I think there is a law now regarding breast feeding mothers at work. I pumped for a year at work and felt like that was all I did since my first needed 50 plus ounces a day. When my second came, he only needed 30 ounces and it didn't seem that bad.
Good luck, I felt more comfortable going through HR instead of my boss since he was a single male with no kids but actually he was very understanding and no questions asked.
A.S. answers from Denver on September 16, 2008
The law accommodating BF moms went into law Aug 5th:
Starting Tuesday, Colorado women will have an easier time breastfeeding in the workplace. A new law — one of 178 that were signed during the state’s most recent legislative session — goes into effect ensuring that women have ample time and private space to breastfeed their infants at work and that they won’t be penalized for doing so.
Colorado is the 16th state to enact such legislation. The law going into effect overlaps with Breastfeeding Week, a national celebration that takes place every year from Aug. 1-8 to educate families on the health benefits of breastfeeding their infants. This year’s theme is "Mother Support: Going for the Gold" to reflect the 2008 summer Olympics.
H.W. answers from Provo on September 16, 2008
Your work is required by federal law to give you a non-paid half-hour break for lunch for every 6 or 8 hours that you work, plus a 15 minute paid break for every 4 hours that you work. If you are there for a total of 7 or 8 hours, that will give you two breaks and a lunch - plenty of time to do your pumping.
Also, start pumping now so you'll have the hang of it before you leave, and give him bottles of breast milk in between feedings to get him used to it.
If your work won't let you have the breaks, threaten to report them. Seriously, it's against the law to not give you the time, so even if you have to use the bathroom, that's better than nothing.
S.P. answers from Denver on September 16, 2008
It is the law in Colorado that your employer must give you (unpaid) breaks to pump. Download this document which is for employers and may give you some ideas. There is also a great contact (Moms on Board) here.
or if you can't get to that directly, go to http://www.cobfc.org/Employers/index.html
and click on the Employer Toolkit.
M.M. answers from Denver on September 16, 2008
M. - you absolutely have rights as a nursing mother and can take breaks to pump. I'm not sure how big your company is but they have to, by law, give you breaks to pump. They can get into trouble if they are not accomodating you. Check with your HR person and find out what you are able to do and also make a plan and take it to them about the times and how long you need to pump. They also have to provide you with a space to pump, not a restroom stall. If they are giving you trouble then you need to contact the state and find out what your rights are and what the company should be giving you. Don't take no for an answer. You need to take care of your baby and you need to pump so make sure the company knows that. Good luck.
K.C. answers from Denver on September 16, 2008
I would suggest pumping before you have to return to work and freezing your breast milk as well. Before I returned to work with my daughter, I would pump on one side while I fed her on the other, that way I had enough stored so she could have my milk while I was away. I pumped during my lunch break and sometime would take another break to pump a second time while I was at work. Your work has to allow you to pump as well as provide you with a place you are comfortable pumping that is sanitary....not hiding out in a bathroom stall! Good luck and cograts!
A.M. answers from Boise on September 15, 2008
I pumped at work for about 6 months. It worked well for me because I was able to find a private office. I left for lunch and went to my son's daycare to feed him, and pumped once in the morning and once in the afternoon. I would definitely recommend a good electric breast pump that does both sides at the same time. They are pricey ($150-200) but I couldn't have done it with a manual pump. Practice a few times at home first to get comfortable. Talk to your supervisor also--aren't there some rights for breastfeeding moms out there somewhere, that give you the right to some privacy to pump?
S. answers from Salt Lake City on September 16, 2008
First and foremost your workplace is required to allow you the time and a location to pump. Start talking to your boss now and explain that you are doing what is best for your baby and that it will not take time away from your job. I am a breastfeeding mom on an 8 month old and have been pumping at work since I came back. All you will need is 3 10-15min sessions to keep up.
I am lucky enough to have a door on my office. but you are in a cube you can put up a shower curtain rod and sheet to create some privacy. Just let your co-workers know that when you have a DO NOT DISTURB sign up that you will be with them momentarily. I have found that everyone respects that and if they need me they eiter leave a note or come back.
please contract me if you would like to chat more about this! it is hard to be a working mom and try to maintain breastfeeding but it is WORTH it. I weaned my first early, with my second he is still going strong and a healthier baby.
L.B. answers from Provo on September 16, 2008
Doesn't your workplace have to comply with FMLA? If so, you should be able to take several weeks off after the birth of a child without losing your job. You might want to check into that.