Supporting Breastfeeding

La Leche League Canada

Returning to Work – How Lucky I Was

on October 5, 2015

wbw2015-logo-smCanada celebrates World Breastfeeding Week from Oct. 1-7, 2015.  This year the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) has chosen the theme “Breastfeeding and Work – Let’s make it work!”  Whether a woman is working at home or in an office, paid or volunteering, having the support to breastfeed is vitally important.  This week’s blog shares one woman’s story from the special World Breastfeeding Week edition of LLLConnections:

The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) states that “whether a woman is working in the formal, non-formal or home setting, she needs to feel sufficiently empowered to claim the right to breastfeed on behalf of both herself and her baby.”  The 2015 World Breastfeeding Week message is – Breastfeeding and Work: Let’s Make it Work!

I had no idea how lucky I was when I returned to work with a breastfeeding baby in tow – but I certainly felt empowered!  I was working for a national company with regular cross country meetings.  It would never have occurred to me that there would be any issue with me bringing my baby (in fact I did this with each of my children) to various meetings – and I am happy to report that I was right.  My co-workers were completely supportive of me, my children and the value of breastfeeding.

So how did they show their support?  In a million little ways:  from bringing me food and drink while I nursed (as the timing often landed around lunch or nutrition breaks), to taking notes of key meeting information when my hands were a bit busy, or holding my baby while I got ready – in all of their actions they showed their complete support.  I think it is important to note that our meetings were almost always filled with 50% men and they were just encouraging and happy to help as the women.  There was simply no question that what I was doing was natural, important and completely respected.  Again, in retrospect I was very lucky indeed.  Not everyone has the support I experienced when they try to combine breastfeeding and work.

How can employers ensure they have a workplace that supports breastfeeding families?  There are certainly lots of great resources available.  Here are a few thoughts to get the ball rolling:

  • Have a written policy that supports breastfeeding employees and addresses topics such as overall company expectations of positive attitudes toward breastfeeding and use of flexible hours/schedules to meet feeding needs.
  • Identify and designate a suitable location within the workplace for breastfeeding or pumping.
  • Consider offering options such as part-time work or working from home to help support the transition back to work.

Hopefully, as we share the message Breastfeeding and Work: Let’s Make it Work we can help mothers, families and employers achieve a healthy work/life balance that benefits everyone.


by Suzanne Gorman

If you need more information or have a breastfeeding problem or concern, you are strongly encouraged to talk directly to an accredited La Leche League Leader.  In Canada, Leaders can be located by clicking or Internationally


If you have found this article helpful, La Leche League Canada would appreciate your support in the form of a donation at  so we can continue to help others breastfeed.


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