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Doctors tell us, also health agencies, grandmothers, neighbors, friends, friends of friends ... Global society tells us: breastfeeding is the best for the baby. It is an irrefutable fact that I share, there is no doubt.
But what happens to breastfeeding when you return to work? Does that society really support us? Despite the breastfeeding rights and permits for working women in some countries, the reality of breastfeeding the baby when returning to work is quite different, the drop-out figures show it.
When we return to the labor market after maternity leave, many moms want to continue breastfeeding the baby, and we try despite the difficulties, we express milk at night, we get up early to do it again, we are absent for the duration of the breastfeeding leave We take advantage of lunch time at work or coffee time to, from the bathroom or an office, get down to work with the breast pump.
We have seen how the deputies in congress do it, celebrities show us their photos during their work breaks to help raise awareness and even so, the average worker still has enormous difficulties to maintain breastfeeding.
Going back to work and continuing to breastfeed is possible, there are those who organize themselves very well: they prepare weeks before to familiarize themselves with the breast pump and agree with their bosses to respect the breastfeeding permission. Your determination overcomes any obstacle.
However, the figures collected by the Breastfeeding Committee of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics, show that worldwide the initiation of breastfeeding is the majority in almost all countries but throughout the first months of the baby's life produces a progressive descent. Data published in 2016 by UNICEF indicate that, globally, only 43% (2 out of 5) of children continue to receive breast milk at 6 months of age.
And it is that, compared to some moms who manage to keep it before any obstacle, the reality of breastfeeding the baby when returning to work is complicated and there is a high rate of abandonment. Why? We spend between 8 and 10 hours away, in which there is not always an understanding boss, an ease of stopping in the work activity that is carried out or an environment that supports and understands.
- More understanding of colleagues: is the complaint of many moms who use breaks or breastfeeding leave at work to express milk. After two or three weeks, moms begin to hear comments such as "again?", "Are you still breastfeeding?", "Are you going to put the milk in the fridge?" Being under the scrutiny of others all day is complicated.
- More acceptance by bosses: Even today it is not well seen in many work environments for women to stop for the time they have according to the law, take out their briefcase and go to an office or to the bathroom to express their milk. In addition, there are certain types of work that complicate it even more since stopping at those moments is almost impossible.
- Reconciliation policies that allow extending maternity leave: In some countries the maternal leave periods are really absurd, very limited, compared to countries that have made it possible, in Sweden they have 64 weeks of leave and in Norway 56.
You can read more articles similar to The reality of breastfeeding your baby when you return to work, in the category of On-site breastfeeding.