Life of a new mom! Filled with uncertainties, new experiences and challenges all the while marvelling at the bundle of joy you created! Some mothers choose to be stay at home moms and nurture their little one full time. However some mothers are faced with another challenge to add to the list - returning to work after a maternity break. Its not an easy decision by any means. Leaving behind your baby and going to work is a rollercoaster of emotions.
The American Association of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of a baby's life. After 6 months breastfeeding can be continued as complementary source of nutrition for 2 years and beyond.
World Health Organisation recommend continuing breastfeeding for at least 1 year of a baby's life. Which brings mothers to another dilemma - how do you continue breastfeeding when work resumes!
Read on to know what other working moms are doing!
According to a research conducted by Medela Kin the below findings were reported:
Here are some research statistics to shed the reality on how many women are able to breastfeed and continue working after childbirth.
- According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) conducted in 2015-16 only around 54.9% of infants under 6 months of age were exclusively breastfed. This falls short of the WHO recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months.
- Many working mothers in India face difficulties in breastfeeding due to lack of maternity leave, proper lactation facilities, and understanding employers. A study by PATH and UNICEF in 2018 highlighted that only about 40% of women in the formal sector have access to paid maternity leave.
- The availability of supportive environments for breastfeeding at workplaces remains limited. A survey by Medela India in 2019 found that around 34% of Indian women received less than 3 months of maternity leave.
- According to the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017, employers in India are required to provide women with breastfeeding breaks during the workday.
- Government initiatives such as the "MAA" (Mothers’ Absolute Affection) program have aimed to promote breastfeeding across India. Awareness campaigns and support for lactation spaces have been launched to encourage and facilitate breastfeeding.
This world breastfeeding week, we asked mothers at the Zactive mom community, how was their experience with breastfeeding while working and what advice can they give to other mothers in the same position! Here are the top 5 advices from real moms who are going through it all!
Read to the end for some extra super useful tips on breastfeeding for working moms!
Every working mom needs to invest in a quality nursing cover which can make the task breezy! Can you believe how stylish these Honeycomb nursing covers look! Add them to your back to office wardrobe!
5 tips to breastfeed in public confidently by Zactive moms!
We spoke to mothers in the Zactive mom community this month on their breastfeeding experiences. Here is a list of practical things you can do which will boost your confidence about breastfeeding your baby in public!
If you are working from office:
Work from home moms:
4. Create a workplace that is baby and breastfeeding friendly:
Set up a comfortable and quiet space where you can work and nurse your baby. Having a designated area helps create boundaries and reduces distractions. Its better to set up a workspace on the ground level so baby can be kept nearby while working!
Prepare snacks, water, and any necessary breastfeeding supplies near your workspace to avoid interruptions when hunger strikes or your baby needs to feed.
5. Have a word with your employer on some work arrangements:
Use tools like video calls, messaging apps, and emails to stay connected with colleagues while also being available for your baby's needs.
You can request for video to be kept off in case you have an office meeting and baby needs a feed,
Negotiate flexible work hours if possible, allowing you to tend to your baby's needs while ensuring your work gets done.
Use to-do lists, calendars, or digital apps to manage tasks, deadlines, and baby-related responsibilities.