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Returning to work while breastfeeding, what are my rights?

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by ilovesooty, May 12, 2011.

  1. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    Breastfeeding mothers returning to work now require a specific risk assessment. You are entitled to breaks and a clean place in which to express (not the toilets).

    If you google "breastfeeding rights at work" there's plenty of info out there.
  2. jubilee

    jubilee Star commenter

    I don't think you have any rights to take your baby to work to be breast-fed.
    Are you going ack in the last week in July in order to trigger full pay? If so, you should know that you don't have to actually attend school to get full pay over the summer holidays. You can elect to 'return to work' on the first day of the holidays. That would give you an extra 7 weeks to wean the baby if that is what you intend for the new school year.
  3. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    I went back to work in secondary when my baby was 17 weeks - Obviously far too young to be weaned - She was still being breast fed and as she was in the nursery onsite, I used break time and lunchtime to go feed her.
    Colleagues were supportive in that I was relieved from doing break time duty, and someone let my classes in after break if I was late because wee one was busy chomping. I made sure I took plenty of drinks and snacks to munch through the day... but I have to say after 4 weeks my milk production reduced substantially because of the extra phsyical exhaustion of being back in work I think... so I moved to combination feeding. She is weaned now, but still being fed by breast in the evenings.
  4. Thanks for the replies!
    I am aware that I can have breaks to express, but unfortunately little one has now decided that he does not want to drink from a bottle, so its a stressful situation all round!
    He is being cared for at home by my husband, so I am wondering if I can go home at lunch time to feed him? A feed before and after school, with one at lunch should be enough.
    I know that I can put the holidays as my return to work (but thanks for the suggestion) but I am returning to a completely new KS and need that week to find my feet etc before I start in September.
  5. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    As you are not paid to remain on site for your lunchtime break I don't think anyone has the right to object to that.... Perhaps do let someone know in case of you being late back - It only happened a few times to me, but some days she was just too busy chomping away to release me!
  6. Thanks so much for replying daisylot, its nice to hear from someone who has made it work. I intend to keep offering the bottle, but just want to prepare in case he keeps refusing!
    I will let the headteacher know my situation, I hope she does not have a problem with me leaving to feed my child tho, it doesnt feel very professional but I dont see what else I can do!
    thanks again x x
  7. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    Don't be daft - lots of teachers have gone and continue to go home or off site for lunch. The head cannot tell you where to be at lunchtime (says experienced secondary head).
    Be sure always to let staff at reception know when you leave and return, though.
  8. Thanks Middlemarch, that makes me feel so much better!
  9. miss_sixties22

    miss_sixties22 New commenter

    Just to add to this, I'm also going back to work the last two weeks of term (although my Head refused to let me put down the first day of the holidays as my return day but that's another story!). I've already informed HR about how I need to express in those two weeks and she said that I would need to do it at break and lunch. Am I entitled to other breaks, e.g. off break duty or registration or something? I'm not sure whether I could finish expressing in a short break time. I have looked online for the info but haven't found out any information about this.
  10. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Are you actually teaching that week, or just finding your feet? Another option might be to ask that that week is done as KIT days rather than full return, and that might then make it easier to negotiate a longer lunch break if necessary.
  11. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    both mine were on solids by that age
    However, unless you live close/have baby brought to you on a daily basis I suspect the practicalities of continuing to feed when you return to work could easily outnumber the benefits!
  12. Thanks again for the advice. I hadnt thought about KIT days and might suggest that to my head.
    I agree that the practicalities might outweigh the benefits, but as my baby is refusing to take milk from any other source (believe me Ive tried them all!) I have no other choice!
  13. atwoodfan

    atwoodfan New commenter

    How old will your LO be? What times do they normally feed?
    While as others have said you are entitled to reasonable breaks, somewhere to express (and somewhere to store the milk expressed safely!), and indeed to leave at lunch to feed baby ( Could baby be brought to you for that week if it would makes things less stressful for you?) it is still hard work.
    I maybe went back to work a bit later than you (LO c. 10 months), and had originally had lots of thoughts about expressing / how that would work etc. I didn't go back properly for the last week in the summer partly because I had concerns about all of that, and just popped in when it suited. My LO was very anti-bottle. That said, I think had there been no alternative she might have got on with it. (very hard if it is you offering the bottle or even if you're in the house as they know!!). We got our LO onto cups quite early in the end, and made her day-time milk in a cup.
    I also think that although work would have been pretty supportive about expressing etc. the reality in a busy teaching day would be quite tough. If it is just the week, and you're not worried about September, I'm sure anything goes - so leaving at lunch or husband bringing LO in should work out fine. Longer term, you may want a plan B.
    Enjoy your last months, and good luck with returning to work!

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