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Today theme is breastfeeding and work, this something I have only a short experience of but I thought I would share my experience. I returned to work when Boo was 11 months old, leaving her at a nursery whilst I worked 2 days a week from 8am until 5.30pm. My mum, most of those days would pick Boo up about 4.30pm and take to our house until my husband and I got in about 6pm. For various reasons I decided to give up work and look after Boo full time.
In those three short months I expressed twice a day whilst at work and Boo drank expressed breastmilk from a bottle (or rather – refused to drink expressed breastmilk from a bottle, or a cup). My experience of breastfeeding and work was not a great one, sadly.
For the first three days I had the option of expressing in the toilets until they sorted the room out which was the stationary cupboard … and I had to lock the door but people still tried to get in to the room whilst I was in there – not exactly a relaxing expressing experience. I wrote this post about breastfeeding at work a month after I had gone back – and even now reading it is really upsetting for me. It was a distinctly unpleasant experience.
There was of course the set of for expressing, the worry that Boo wasn’t really drinking as much as she should be whilst at nursery, nursery bringing it’s own problems, the discomfort of leaking and the fact I couldn’t express enough and also mastitis. I also think that deep down I was unhappy with returning to work at all, and that the expressing was just another issue, another reason which confirmed that giving up work to look after Boo was the right choice for our family. Maybe if I had been more keen to get back to work because I loved my job and felt more comfortable with leaving Boo at nursery then maybe expressing wouldn’t have been as much of an issue or at least seemed less negative?
I honestly wish I had a happier experience to share, I wish that my employer had been a bit more accommodating without having to be pressed, (though my manager was great at giving me the time to express – that was probably the only thing that wasn’t as issue!). I think if more people were expressing when the went back to work more would probably be done and big organisations like the one I worked for may have a more appropriate room set up as more people were using it, rather than an chair shoved into the stationary cupboard…
How was your return to work after maternity leave? And if you were breastfeeding when you returned to work how was it?
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