I am a nursing student and am returning after maternity leave at the end of the month when DD will be 10.5 months. I'll be going on placement straight away and have just found out where I'll be working, it's on a ward in a fairly large hospital, the shifts are quite long (12.5 hours) and I'll need to express while I'm there, hopefully just once. I know that employees have a legal right to express at work, have time and space to do so, somewhere to store milk etc, but I have no idea whether this right extends to students too. As it's the NHS I'd hope that they'd be supportive of a breastfeeding mother but I have no idea whether this will actually be the reality. I'll be talking to the nurse who will be my mentor on the ward tomorrow and will mention that I'll need to express but have no idea whether there will be anywhere I can use, I'm hoping that somewhere in the hospital there'll be somewhere, I don't mind where it is, I wouldn't mind going to my car to express but the hospital car park is really expensive so I'm hoping to park elsewhere which will probably be too far to walk to during my break. So, presuming I can actually get somewhere to do it, then I have to think about storage, again I have no idea if there's a fridge staff can use on the ward, I'm thinking there probably will be as everyone will be doing long shifts but will it be OK to store my milk in a shared fridge in a place where I don't know anyone? Again, I'm hoping that as NHS employees no-one will drink or contaminate my baby's milk but don't know! Is there any sort of storage bag I could get that would keep the milk cool enough if I pumped half way through my shift, so 6/7 hours?
good for you, Matriarchal! Where I work, we don't have a fridge. I used to store my expressed milk in a cooler bag with 3 ice packs. It was always fine. I did work one long 12 hour day and on that day I would bring in a little mini-fridge and plug it in. I'm not sure it was any better than the cooler bag though!
Hi, if you have a maternity unit they should let you express there and often store ebm in there fridge. Of not a cooler bag. You are covered by the same legal rights as any other employee. If they give you a hard time then go and speak to your uni facilitator.
I think technically you'll be entitled. The practicality of finding somewhere to express in an NHS environment might be tricky! I don't know if I'd be happy to leave mine in a shared fridge at work (I'm a nurse btw!) - its an area anyone can access and the fridges tend to be minging! I'd look into a cool bag like suggested above. Actually I think asking about going to the maternity unit is an excellent idea - they might be able to offer you space to express in too.
I know Boots do expressing storage bags - like resealable container bags with labels you can write on for about £7.
I am trawling through old threads trying to work out how much/how many times I will need to express to maintain supply during three day/all day course in a few weeks when DD is 6 months old.
I have a medela swing which takes batteries, and I also have cool bag with shaped ice pack which holds 4 medela bottles - got it on offer in mother care for £15 (cheaper than buying the bottles alone, not sure if it would be worth full price...).