Breastfeeding is essential for an infant’s comprehensive development, as well as for mothers and society. With the increasing number of working mothers in the present era, it becomes very difficult for them to manage their work and breastfeed their child simultaneously. Hence, most of the workplaces provide family-friendly policies to allow working mothers to give their children the greatest possible start in life.
Nursing support is crucial because breastfeeding nourishes and gives the best start in life to all children. Breast milk serves as a baby’s first immunization, protecting them from infections and even death. Breastfeeding also promotes safe connection, cognitive development, and attenuates/eases the burden of youngster and maternal sickness, leading to minimized health-care expenses and a healthier family.
Despite these clear advantages, research has shown that returning to work without proper help at the workplace can impede effective nursing practices. Breastfeeding support is critical for the health of the newborn and their mothers collectively.
Effective measures that can help enhance breastfeeding, job productivity, and employee retention include:
· Provision of lactation rooms at workplace
· Compensated nursing breaks
· An accommodating breastfeeding environment and culture
Governments, corporations, public society, and families may all work together to safeguard and facilitate this practice so that women’s health is protected and children can survive and get nourished well. Breastfeeding help (and other family-friendly policies) at the workplace should go beyond just infrastructural changes and include things like awareness campaign, employment protection, and non-discrimination.
Family-friendly policies assist workers in balancing job and family commitments while also promoting their children’s well-being and development. UNICEF and WHO as a part of “Baby Friendly Health initiative, 1991”, has identified four important policy issues that influence and work on children’s well-being, women empowerment, and careers’ access to decent work:
· Enough paid time off for all the lactating mothers to fulfil the needs of their young children.
· Support for mothers who choose to breastfeed only for the first six months of their child’s life, as recommended by the World Health Organization and UNICEF, and who continue to do so.
These policies allow breastfeeding mothers the time, resources, and services they need to recover from childbirth and promote secure bonding and attachment with their newborns, resulting in a fertile ground for bonding and attachment.
Advantages of Breastfeeding at Work
· Helps keep a routine and sustain bonding with the child, both of which can be beneficial to his or her health.
· Breastfeeding in the workplace ensures that your kid receives proper nutrition and all the health benefits that come with breast milk, even if you are not around.
· Breastfeeding at work can contribute to greater confidence and support in your daily life.
· Breastfeeding at work is likely to boost your productivity and mood by providing you with regular breaks and reducing your cognitive load regarding your child while you’re at work.
Disadvantages of Breastfeeding at Work
· Breastfeeding while working can be exhausting, and it’ll take some time to fit into a routine that is comfortable for you due to the societal stigma.
· Breastfeeding while working may need a lot of planning and organisation–such as with pumps and bottles which aren’t always suitable for all women or employees’ schedules.
· It may take some time for the breasts to adjust to the gaps between feeds, particularly if you and your baby include mixed or bottle feeding into your routine.
Tips for Breastfeeding at Work
· Prepare your way back to work
· Use breast-pumps
· Research properly and know your limits
Breastfeeding is the most natural and healthy approach to nourish a baby from the moment he or she is born. In terms of nutrients, antibodies, attachment potential, bonding, and stimulation, no milk substitute can match breast milk.
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