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Breastfeeding at work: what are your rights?

Allaitement au travail : quels sont vos droits ?

It is not always easy to reconcile breastfeeding and professional activity at the end of maternity leave. But employed mothers can benefit from certain accommodations. How to draw milk at your workplace? What you need to know before going back to work.

Returning to work after the birth of a baby often represents an obstacle to the pursuit of breastfeeding. However, the WHO advises to breastfeed her baby for at least 6 months because of the benefits of breast milk, which contains the vitamins, minerals, trace elements, sugars, fats, and proteins it needs to grow well. Be aware that the law provides for you to be able to express milk at your workplace.

Article L1225-30 of the labor code stipulates that as an employee, you can breastfeed your baby during working hours, for one year from birth. You can claim a reduction in your working time an hour a day, is 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon. In addition, this breastfeeding break is reduced to 20 minutes if your employer provides you with a room dedicated to breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding breaks are not paid, because this breastfeeding hour does not correspond to actual working time. However, it all depends on your collective agreement. Do not hesitate to consult her during your maternity leave to check whether or not she plans to pay for this hour devoted to breastfeeding. The site LegiFrance gives direct access to the collective agreements in force.

Companies with more than 100 employees are required to set up in or near their establishment, a room dedicated to breastfeeding. They must meet specific standards with regard to health and safety at work. If you work in a small company, choose a small room in which you will not be disturbed and therefore not stressed, calm is essential to trigger the ejection reflex. In addition, take the time to organize yourselves in advance with the human resources department, or your employer, to determine where you could settle down on a regular basis to breastfeed your baby or express your milk.

For practical questions and to save time, it is strongly recommended touse an electric breast pump. Your milk should be collected in a clean airtight container, and placed in a refrigerator where it can be consumed up to 8 days after being drawn. If you do not have access to a refrigerator, give your milk to your child within 8 hours as recommended by the High Authority for Health.

To facilitate the process, do not hesitate to discuss this issue with your employer during your pregnancy, and therefore, before you leave on maternity leave. You can also, if you work in a medium or large company, send a breastfeeding authorization request to your human resources department and speak to occupational health in order to find the most suitable solution.

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