You will want to inform your employer about your breastfeeding plan and discuss any preparations that need to be made...
If you are unsure about what to incorporate into your letter, we have provided a few suggestions.
Copy and paste the letter into a word document and edit it. You can add your company’s letterhead if you want to be formal. Add your own information in the brackets. Delete the brackets afterward. Feel free to edit it as much as you need to.
Dear (Your employer or supervisor)
RE: Working arrangements after maternity leave.
I have decided to continue to breastfeed my baby even after I have returned to work on the (the date you return to work). I intend on breastfeeding my (daughter/son) exclusively from the moment of birth. Maintaining this breastfeeding relationship is of utmost importance to our family. For me to be successful, there are a few things I will need. I would like for us to discuss, in advance, the working arrangements for the time after my maternity leave.
Granting me the time and resources that I require to express breastmilk at work will determine whether I can continue to provide my milk to my baby.
I will need a private room to pump; this room will require an electrical outlet for the pump and a chair to sit in while I pump. I will also need to lock it from the inside. ( Here you can mention any space that your company may already have that would serve as a good lactation room) If you would like to create a lactation room, suggestions can be found here.
I will need to pump three times at regular intervals during my 8-hour workday; this is to ensure that I maintain my milk supply to provide enough milk for my baby. Each break should be 30 minutes long, giving me enough time to assemble my pump, express, and then clean the pump.
I will also need to store my milk in the office fridge. Breastmilk is not biologically hazardous and is classified as foodstuff by the US FDA.
The Basic Conditions of Employment Act Code of Good Practice on the Protection of Employees during Pregnancy and After the Birth of a Child, section 5.13:
‘Arrangements should be made for employees who are breastfeeding to have breaks of 30 minutes twice per day for breastfeeding or expressing milk each working day for the first six months of the child’s life.’
How your company will benefit from this:
Lactation programs are proven to decrease the incidences of babies getting sick by 77%. Employees who provide breastmilk to their babies need to take off half as often as those who formula feed their babies.
Knowing that my child is receiving my breastmilk while I am at work, will put my mind at ease and allow me to be more attentive.
I would love to meet with you before I go on maternity leave to discuss these matters so that things will run with ease when I return to work.
I take pride in my work and will continue to meet the highest of standards.
Thank you in advance for your consideration in this matter.
(your contact details)
You need to Know Your Rights in Your Country
Under U.S law, nursing mothers should be given a break time and a lactation room that is private and sanitary. A bathroom is not considered a fitting place for this. Companies with less than 50 employees are absolved from providing a lactation room.
Plan Ahead of Time
First, consult your human resources manager about your company’s policies concerning breastfeeding. Ask other mothers in the company about their lactation plans. Write down what expectations you all have and include that in your letter too.