Planning ahead

Before you go on parental leave, talk to your employer/manager/HR department about flexible work options available for when you return.

There is no requirement for employees to inform their employers if they intend to breastfeed or express when they return to work, however, the more you can plan for before baby arrives the smoother your transition back to work will be, it also allows your employer plenty of time to make any necessary arrangements.

It helps to discuss with your employer that arrangements for managing breastfeeding and returning to work are not permanent; each baby’s breastfeeding pattern is different and will change over time. The pattern in which you feed or express at one month is different at six months and different again at nine and twelve months.

Some things to consider are:

➜  Talk with your family/whānau about how they can support you
➜  Work part-time or flexible hours, job share, or work some hours from home
➜  Your partner or other carer brings the baby to you at work for feeding
➜  You meet the baby and carer at an appropriate close site
➜  You go to where the baby is to feed, e.g., home, crèche, carer’s place, etc
➜  You express and store breast milk at work, to be fed to your baby the following day
➜  You feed the baby before and after work and on days when you are not working

Arrange to have a ‘return to work’ meeting about a month before you plan to return. When you return to work, confirm these arrangements. Be prepared to change them if it is not working out. Keep your manager informed of how things are going.