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Jun 18, 2018

In Episode 2 of Series One, Val Willcox, Practice Manager at the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) joins Afshin for a discussion about going back to work after having a baby and breastfeeding. We also hear from 1 year-old Alfie’s mum, Hollie, who has recently gone back to her job in retail working weekends. And we discuss Afshin’s research looking at the links between shift work and breastfeeding.  

Key points from the discussion

  • Hollie talks about her experiences of going back to work for her, her partner and her child
  • Val tals about the many challenges facing women looking at returning to work after having a baby
  • Hollie talks about her experiences of breastfeeding and going back to work
  • Val talks about the logistical challenges of working and continuing to work 
  • Afshin explains the key finding from her research on shift work and breastfeeding - that mothers who were working when their child was 9 months old were more likely to continue to breastfeed if they worked evening shifts than mums who weren’t working 
  • Val wonders whether the finding could be linked to the length of the shift (i.e. evening shifts might be shorter and more manageable) and they both agree the better all this is understood, the better policies and practices can be developed  to support mums who want or need to return to work. 
  • Val mentions the legislation in place to protect mums who want to continue breastfeeding whilst working but says conversations with employers are not always as easy as they should be and that more needs to be done to make those conversations easier - i.e. have clear policies in place 
  • Val advises mums to have conversations early with employers - recommends Maternity Action for advice if they need it - suggests we should celebrate good employers who support women however they feed their babies.
  • Discussion moves to flexible working policies around parental leave and whether they are working well

Further information and resources