Expressing breast milk at work is a common concern for a lot of new moms. After all, it is very time consuming and is bound to feel a little bit strange. Nevertheless, given the benefits associated with breast milk, it is an option many moms choose. Before going back to work, you should discuss the fact that you intend to express at work with your line manager and any other colleagues who may need to know – such as the Human Resources manager. They will be able to help you ensure you have everything you need and minimize disruption to your working day.
Facilities Needed for Expressing at Work
- A clean, warm room with a low, comfortable chair. If the door cannot be locked, you can put a sign on it to ensure privacy. The bathroom is NOT a suitable place.
- An electric outlet for an electric pump if necessary.
- Hand washing facilities nearby.
- A hygienic area where you can clean your pump and store your sterilizing equipment.
- A fridge for storing milk. If this is difficult, a well-insulated cool bag is an alternative (visit our storing breast milk page for more info.)
These facilities are not always available and a creative and flexible approach to how you express breast milk may be needed. Your employer should do everything in their power to help. After all, moms who give their babies breastmilk take less time off work than moms of formula-fed babies.
Expressing at Work and Breastfeeding at Home
A common concern for new moms regarding expressing at work is that they will lose the close bond they have with baby when they breastfeed. While going back to work may well mean you will not be able to breastfeed as often, baby will still be waiting for you when you come home. Ask whoever is looking after baby during the day to feed baby as little as possible before you come home so you can re-establish your special bond straight away. You may also want to read our article about breastfeeding at work.