Breastfeeding Your Toddler
Returning to Work When Breastfeeding
Can I continue breastfeeding if I work outside the home?
Yes. In British Columbia, employers must make reasonable efforts to allow you to breastfeed or express milk at work.
How can you be successful?
- Have breastfeeding well established before returning to work.
- Contact your public health nurse, lactation consultant, La Leche League, or breastfeeding support group for help and advice.
- Talk to your boss before you go back to work. Talk about the importance of support for breastfeeding. Breastfed toddlers are healthier. Their mothers need less time off work to care for them.
You will need:
- A quiet, smoke‑free place to feed or express milk.
- A fridge to store expressed milk. If you do not have a fridge at work, use a Styrofoam box with an ice pack to store expressed milk that will be used within 24 hours.
- A reasonable workload.
Remember to take healthy snacks to work, as well as breast pads, breast pump, clean cups or jars to store your breast milk, and phone numbers of support people.
How can I get ready to go back to work?
- Learn how to express your milk by hand or pump. Start storing milk 10 to 14 days before you plan to return to work. For more information on expressing and storing breast milk, click here.
- Tell your child care provider how important breastfeeding is to you and your toddler. Discuss your toddler’s feeding routines. Make sure your caregiver knows how to safely prepare and store milk.
- Get extra help with chores at home.
- Breastfeeding helps your toddler adjust to you going back to work.