Firms urged to accommodate new mothers

A mum breastfeding

A mum breastfeding

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New mums will be able to carry on breast-feeding after returning to work for a county health group following the introduction of new guidelines.

Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, which runs mental health services throughout the county, is now urging other businesses to follow suit.

Katie Wharton, infant feeding coordinator, said: “It’s important that employers support their staff to be able to continue breast-feeding or giving breast milk for the maximum amount of time after birth.”

Women returning to work following maternity leave will now be given extra breaks and a ‘warm, comfortable, and private’ room to either feed their babies or express milk – though work takes priority.

A fridge to store the milk will also be made available, while working patterns will also be considered, the trust said.

The Department of Health recommends babies are breast-fed exclusively for the first six months of their lives, with it remaining part of their diet throughout their first and second years.

Katie added: “Employers can very easily accommodate employees wishing to continue breast-feeding or giving breast milk when they return to work.

“Having a policy such as this would increase staff morale and loyalty, and also encourage staff to return to work earlier.

“In fact every effort needs to be made to accommodate their needs.”