Support for breastfeeding at work

UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have issued a joint statement emphasising the need for greater breastfeeding support at work, saying that breastfeeding has multiple health benefits for children as it boosts their immune systems and provides key nutrients for development. However, the key to supporting breastfeeding mothers at work is the degree of support offered to them by their employer and both organisations urge employers to pledge their support to achieve a global 2023 target of 70% of children being breastfed.

It suggested that allowing additional breastfeeding breaks and providing a room where mothers can express would encourage more mothers to continue to breastfeed on returning to work.  It is suggested that such support will reduce maternity-related absence, increase retention and reduce the cost of hiring and training new staff. 

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) advises that employers should provide suitable facilities for breastfeeding mothers which are hygienic and private, for expressing milk and somewhere to safely store milk.  It is made clear that a toilet is not a suitable place for expressing and this means that employers do need to consider what they are suggesting in terms of an area which might be suitable. 

Should you require any support to put in place policies to support parents returning to work, contact us at

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