I had to go back to work when my child was six weeks old. I was fortunate to be part of a workplace that was flexible enough to tolerate my expressing milk and leaving it in the fridge.
The University of Houston recently published a study that surveyed 859 women returning to work after maternity leave. Only 300 of those women were able to continue breast-feeding for a year and only seven managed to breastfeed exclusively for six months, which is the recommended minimal time.
Many of these women reported inadequate accommodations and support for breastfeeding, and they found them selves the butt of jokes.
Creating tolerant, diverse workplaces shouldn’t be this hard. If it was possible in the late eighties, then why are women still struggling with this issue?
Many people spend up to fifty hours a week at work, more time than they spend with their families. Surely it’s time to change our workplace cultures.