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Breastfeeding breaks at work

(8 Posts)
Dannybuk Mon 20-Jun-11 16:40:54

Hi

I'm new here so please be gentle smile

My wife has gone back to work a few weeks ago. She wrote to them to inform the employer that she was a breastfeeding mum and she would need to express. It started off fairly well but then has become a nightmare. My partner is a teacher and the school are now telling her that she must use her lunch break with at best an additional 20 minutes to express all she needs. This is despite the fact that usually our little one wouldnt feed at this time so its not great timing for her to express.

Its got to the point were we have letters from health visitors explaining why it needs to be a consistent time and all the good information needed. But it just seems that the school is taking the michael and in the mean time my wife is just totally stressing out as she is unable to express much milk now and finding it harder and harder to do. It seems her employer thinks she is some sort of diary cow sad

Also they have not provided a proper room for her with inside lock. Its just a mess. I wondered is there any law on this now or not? I have struggled to understand how anyone could be so disregarding of a mum that has just returned to work. She's not asking for hours and hours just the time it takes for her to relax a little and express what is needed.

Any thoughts or help would be great as it just seems to her that she is a lone voice and that no one is interested in her health.

Thanks

Dan

LoveBeingAbleToNamechange Mon 20-Jun-11 17:01:23

Hi dan. Have you looked at the directgov website which covers returning to work from mat leave? Also is she in a union that she could get things sorted for her?

Dannybuk Tue 21-Jun-11 08:43:55

Yes we have checked the Directgov site and got the information for returning to work. It feels like that they are more focused on risk assessments and potential hazzards. My wife has contacted her union and they are looking into this now. It turns out that they never have had an issue like this but are shocked by the way in which the school are dealing with it.

Also wife was at docs last night as she was told to have a letter from her GP/health visitor to justify why she needs breaks at certain times. The doc was no help and basically said to drop the matter.

LoveBeingAbleToNamechange Tue 21-Jun-11 09:48:13

That's disgusting about the gp how about the hv?

Also maybe it's worth her calling HR, you just to ' double check' what she is entilited too? Might get them moving?

HarrietJones Tue 21-Jun-11 13:14:08

Does your wife have any suggestions when she can have the expressing breaks? I can see both sides of this as obviously she has a v set schedule for the day but on the other hand she needs to avoid engorgement.

Tbh I think the argument that she expresses when baby would normally feed isn't going to help except for from a quantity pov

meditrina Tue 21-Jun-11 13:19:33

Hi - I've done this.

Lactation will adjust to new routine, so establishing regular timings is good. Using part of her lunch hour (which is what I did) is a good pragmatic solution, and is she can get the further 20 minutes you mention as well, then that is the start of a good routine.

Finding a suitable place will depend on the layout of the school. Of the available space, where does she want to do it?

Dannybuk Tue 21-Jun-11 13:26:33

Hi
The health Visitor has provided a really good letter to be passed on detailing information on the benefits of expressing. She has also made sure to cover the required areas about it not being something that can just be done in a few minutes.

Harriet - I agree with seeing both sides of the case. My wife is more than happy to change the time she expresses so that its just going to be once during the working day. she just asked for a period of time that was around the same time everyday. Thus making it easier for her to know when she relax and then express and also so the school can provide cover for that time.
At the min she suggested the teaching period after her lunch break as this would give her the time to having something to eat and also try to relax but it also means she can get started on expressing.

The school have moved around her bf break times though. So sometimes its around 11, sometimes after 1. its not ideal.

I just think it would be easier for both sides to say the period after lunch can be her bf break time, shes more than happy to return to work once she has expressed and its not like she is asking for an hour on top of lunch just enough time each day to express.

Worst part is this is just for a couple more months as she is intending to stop over summer.

HarrietJones Tue 21-Jun-11 13:42:07

What happens regarding her class in that time?

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