Flexible work arrangements and breastfeeding-choices for nursing moms
Your maternity leave is coming to an end. That's tough enough.
But what about your fervent desire to give your baby only (or
mostly) your breast milk? A flexible work schedule can help you
successfully meet this need. Here's my view on your options.
This is my first pick of flexible work arrangements for moms who
In the ideal situation, your infant's caregiver would be on the
premises while you worked in a separate part of the home. Then
you would be nearby to nurse your infant as needed.
If your infant is being cared outside a distance away from your
home office during your work hours, telecommuting allows you
the advantages of pumping or otherwise expressing your breast
What a refreshing difference over sitting in a bathroom stall trying
to get a good let-down reflex going! Unfortunately, the majority of
employers still do not provide a lactation room for nursing
mothers who have returned to work.
- at the right times,
- in a sanitary environment,
- in a relaxed setting,
- with privacy.
Part-time or job sharing
Either of these get second place. With a reduced workweek
and/or reduced workday, your nursing schedule can more closely
conform to what it would otherwise be if you were not away from
your home and baby.
This gets last place for the mom who is nursing her baby, in my
opinion. If you are away from your baby for 10+ hours a day, and
your job responsibilities and work setting don't allow for on-time
pumping, you are setting yourself up for engorgement and breast
milk leakage. Look to the other arrangements for a solution.
If you don't have much of a choice about the long days upon
returning to your job, a better nursing course of action would be to
mimic a night-time only nursing schedule a couple of weeks
before returning to work. That way your milk production will adjust
accordingly and prevent daytime discomfort.
Otherwise, it may be time to propose your preferred work
schedule to your boss. Keep exploring WorkOptions.com to get
all the resources you need to make one of these flexible work
arrangements a reality.
Pat Katepoo is founder of WorkOptions.com and the developer of the electronic workbook, Flex Success: A Proposal Blueprint &
Planning Guide for Getting a Family-Friendly Work Schedule.