Space for breastfeeding at work

World Health Organization recommends continued breastfeeding, with the introduction of solid food, for two years or beyond.

This year’s theme for World Breastfeeding Week, Oct. 1-8, is Breastfeeding and Work: Let’s Make it Work.

The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and continued breastfeeding, with the introduction of solid food, for two years or beyond.

Successfully combining work and breastfeeding makes it easier for women to return to work and breastfeed longer, which benefits babies, mothers and employers. Wherever a woman is working, it is important she is empowered to breastfeed.

“Time, space and support are essential for encouraging breastfeeding at work. Employers can support breastfeeding by providing a clean, comfortable and private space and allowing a flexible time schedule to accommodate breastfeeding, said Patty Hallam, knowledge coordinator with Interior Health. “Support from a team of helpers that includes family, friends, health-care providers, communities, as well as employers and co-workers can make all the difference in building a woman’s confidence and comfort with breastfeeding.”

Breastfeeding is natural but it is not always easy. Public health nurses are available at health centres across Interior Health to assist mothers and infants during the breastfeeding years and to ensure families have all the help they need to give babies the best start in life. Contact your local public health centre for more information.

Support is also a click away with Healthy Families BC’s Breastfeeding Buddy web-based app. (www.healthyfamiliesbc.ca/)

Interior Health is committed to providing a wide range of quality health-care services. For more information, visit www.interiorhealth.ca, follow on Twitter @Interior_Health, or like IH on Facebook at www.facebook.com/InteriorHealth.