Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace: Frequently Asked Questions
Narrator: Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace : Frequently asked questions
Narrator: After conducting online training for a group of managers about supporting breastfeeding in the workplace, the human resources consultant shares some common scenarios and addresses their concerns. Firstly, Supervisor Ms Cheung raises a question…
Supervisor Ms Cheung: How can we get a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace started?
Consultant: Actions always speak louder than words.
Breastfeeding staff appreciate verbal support from the management, but the best way to show them the company cares is implementing a well-written policy.
The policy aims to enhance communications between management and staff as well as to align practices in the workplace.
Narrator: Hear them all. Train them all.
Consultant: A fully supportive environment for breastfeeding staff requires mutual understanding among all staff members. Concerns from all parties should be addressed.
The management should disseminate the policy to staff members of all ranks and levels and provide training to those responsible for implementing the policy.
Early preparation can prevent many problems down the road.
Before their delivery, pregnant staff are encouraged to start discussion with their supervisors early about their breastfeeding plans.
Frequent and open communication among the management, breastfeeding staff and the rest of the team is essential. Experiences indicates that the majority of employees, regardless of their gender, support the implementation of breastfeeding friendly measures in the workplace.
In case some staff may consider the measures unfair, let them know the temporary nature of it and the long-term benefits for multiple parties.
Narrator: Manager Ms Chan then asks a question too…
Manager Ms Chan: How should I respond if breastfeeding staff request more or longer lactation breaks?
Consultant: Some breastfeeding mothers recently returning to work may need more or longer breaks as they require time to adapt to the new environment for milk expression. You can flexibly consider the request as far as it is practical to help them with the transition. Alternatively, the staff may express milk during their spare time, such as lunchtime and the time before or after working hours.
Manager Ms Chan: If a staff member breastfeeds for more than one year, should she still be granted two lactation breaks a day?
Consultant: Children reaching the age of one can already eat a variety of food. Their daily milk intake will reduce, and so will the frequency of breastfeeding or breastmilk expression. At this stage, most breastfeeding mothers only need one lactation break a day. You can flexibly make arrangements to accommodate individual need for continued breastfeeding.
Narrator: At this point, Supervisor Ms Cheung asks another question…
Supervisor Ms Cheung: How can we support breastfeeding staff who have outdoor duties?
Consultant: You can allow the staff to use community baby care facilities nearby, or flexibly arrange their outdoor working hours or conditions, such as alternative postings or part-time work. These temporary measures can be gradually reduced when their babies get older.
Consultant: Breastfeeding is a natural and healthy process for mums and babies instead of an obstacle to productivity.
Consultant: All women in Hong Kong are now protected from breastfeeding discrimination and harassment under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance in various sectors. Let's build good practices in the workplace!
Narrator: If you want to become a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace, please contact The Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF on the "SayYesToBreastfeeding" campaign at 2836 2913.
Narrator: For more information about a Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace, please watch the related video series.
Narrator: You may also visit the website for the Family Health Service of the Department of Health at www.fhs.gov.hk and refer to the corresponding pamphlets.
This video is produced by the Family Health Service of the Department of Health.