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NHS midwife denied flexible working for 2 months to contiue breastfeeding!

(13 Posts)
chickenlickin Sat 26-Sep-09 22:51:26

I am a midwife due to start back at work when my baby is 10 months old. I have asked if i could do two months of early or day time shifts so can continue breastfeeding my baby until he is a year old. This is what i did with my first child, she fed early morning, bedtime and sometimes during night. I then can resume full normal shift patterns.
I am unable to express as very painful and keep getting engorged and mastitis. They have refused this request and said i have to do mixed shifts of lates and nights etc. If not i should give up my permanent contract and do as and when (bank). They seemed to dismiss the fact that the World Health Organisation recommends continued BF up untill the age of two (not that i want to do it that long.
I feel that it is not a unreasonable request as only two months, and we spend a lot of our work promoting BF and helping women. Please leave commnents opinons as unsure to appeal or what to do. Want some opinons from mothers who know!!! shock

morocco Sat 26-Sep-09 22:52:57

are you in a union? that would be my first port of call. or your household insurance - did you pay for legal advice cover?

supersalstrawberry Sat 26-Sep-09 22:54:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

colditz Sat 26-Sep-09 22:54:48

That's appalling.

i've no advicebut I'm appalled.

supersalstrawberry Sat 26-Sep-09 23:00:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bronze Sat 26-Sep-09 23:01:40

no idea but good luck

Portofino Sat 26-Sep-09 23:02:43

With the best will in the world, your employer does not have to take WHO recommendations about BF into consideration! The important point is that someone has to cover those shifts. I guess lates and nights are not the popular ones, so this could give them an issue. I do feel sad for you but in your request for flexible working you need outline how this will not negatively affect things.

chickenlickin Sat 26-Sep-09 23:10:35

I do think a maternity unit within the NHS should take the WHO recommendations seriously. But yes i do understand the need to cover shifts. All good advise, thanks everyone x

Unfortunately I don't think they have to accomadate this?

They legally have to allow you a break to express but am guessing that wouldn't help with the actual evening b/f.

Caz10 Sat 26-Sep-09 23:26:22

Do you work close to home? When i was due to return to work dd was 9mths and I was really concerned about continuing bfing. Lots of people posted here and said they'd nipped home at lunch/had people bring their LOs to them for a feed etc.
I ended up feeding her twice in the morning before I left, she got 1 or 2 formula bottles during the day, then I fed her as soon as I came in at 5pm ish. All worked fine, still feeding at 22mths!

This is interesting read

www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/pdfs/Breastfeeding%20and%20Returning%20to%20Work.pdf

Looks like you might be able to avoid night shifts. And you could maybe even argue that the last part of a late shift counts as night work. Would your GP be prepared to write a letter saying that not being able to b/f would affect your health?

MrsDenning Thu 01-Oct-09 03:41:54

chickenlickin
I think that they may have to accommodate this. Hopefully, you can get someone to help you on this and your employer will back down and accommodate your request.
Two arguments
1. Because you are still breastfeeding your employer must do a risk assessment arguable shifts should be adjusted on H and S grounds.
2. Refusual of your request is likely to be indirect sex disrimination.
3. Call Working Families they have a free helpline 0800 013 0313 or edads@workingfamilies.org.uk. They have lawyers who specialise in this and they will give you free advice.

stressedbutluvem Thu 15-Oct-09 21:40:33

Contact your Occ Health Department straight away and get them to support you. Does your trust not have a policy?? they should. Read HSE.gov.uk guidance on new and expectant mothers, covers "still breastfeeding" (although mainly aimed at expressing etc) should be argued same consideration applies in your circumstances. Lets face it if you were to get mastitis you could be off sick for how long??? up to 2 months maybe now they surely wouldnt want that now would they?? would be very short sighted of them.

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