Thinking of returning to work after having a baby? With the right support you can return to work and continue to breastfeed or provide breastmilk for your child.
Many women need to return to work when their child is still breastfeeding or receiving breastmilk, but are unsure what they and their workplaces can do to achieve this.
Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace Accreditation (BFW) is awarded by the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) to organisations that provide three simple criteria to support their breastfeeding employees in the workforce.
These three criteria Space, Time and Support form the foundation stone for becoming a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace.
Space: A private space (that is not a toilet or shower) to feed or express is the first key requirement to becoming a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace. This space may be a dedicated breastfeeding/expressing room or depending on the size of your organisation it could be a shared facility with a first aid room/prayer room or meeting room. Smaller work sites or those with a small number of staff may not have a space available at all times but should have in place a plan outlining how a space will be provided should the need arrive. All the details and information required in setting up a breastfeeding/expressing room and other options can be found in our Breastfeeding & Expressing Room Toolkit.
Time: The needs of a breastfeeding employee are usually short-term and involve either direct breastfeeding and/or expressing their milk for their infant during the working day. A Breastfeeding Policy that clearly outlines the support for lactation breaks to allow a mother time to feed/express is the second key requirement to become a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace. The Breastfeeding Policy & Communication Toolkit provides examples of best practice and a variety of templates that you can adapt for your organisation to put in place the underpinning Breastfeeding Policy and work practices that provides your employees with the time they need to feed/express in the workplace.
Support: A comprehensive Breastfeeding Policy and comfortable facilities are backed up by a clear communication strategy and other workplace initiatives. Communication is key to building a supportive workplace culture. Together these three elements demonstrate to new and existing employees that their workplace and employer us supportive of their potential needs as a breastfeeding employee. Our Getting Ready for Breastfeeding Accreditation Toolkit covers the information/resources required to gain accreditation as a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace it will assist employers to bring together all the criteria and other small measures that can put in place to demonstrate their support and meet the requirements to become an employer of choice as an Accredited Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace.