If you have welcomed a new baby into the world recently, you have probably spent weeks tending to your newborn’s every need. Still, if you eventually must return to work, you are far from alone. In fact, according to BetterUp, almost 60% of new moms feel they have no choice but to reenter the workforce.
It is perfectly normal to feel some trepidation about going back to work after having a baby, of course. You should not, however, worry about not having the ability to take lactation breaks. These are the breaks you need to pump or otherwise express milk.
You have a right to take pumping breaks
Your employer probably has a legal obligation to allow you to take lactation breaks. Provided your requests are reasonable, your employer should let you use your regular paid breaks and meal times to express milk.
You are likely to need more break time than you once did, though. Fortunately, your employer likely must provide additional unpaid breaks for your lactation needs, provided your requests for them are reasonable. These additional breaks should continue for up to two years after the birth of your child.
You have a right to privacy
Additionally, your employer should give you access to a private place for your lactation breaks. Ideally, this location should be away from coworkers, customers and others. It also should not be a stall in the public restroom.
Your reservations about returning to work should subside over time. Ultimately, though, knowing you have access to additional lactation breaks in a private space may help your re-entry into the workforce go a bit more smoothly.