Whangārei Hospital paediatric nurse Georgia Kidd is one hundred percent supportive of the World Breastfeeding Week's theme “Enabling Breastfeeding: Making a Difference for Working Parents”.
Thanks to her own workplace's support, Georgia, who works in the hospital's SCBU (Special Care Baby Unit), has been able to continue breastfeeding her own 15-month old son.
She and her partner have nailed the balance between work, baby feeding and full-time parenting at home, with Georgia able to leave expressed milk at home for Dad to feed baby Archer while she works night shifts.
Even though their system works seamlessly, Georgia said it's a relief knowing that if she had to dash home or if her partner needed to bring the baby to work for a feed, that would be fine with her employers. So far, it has never had to happen, she said.
As it is, her manager Jules Dewhurst often reminds Georgia and other staff that they are entitled to take breaks to breastfeed or express milk should she need to.
Georgia said she’s lucky her job is well set-up to accommodate her expressing or breastfeeding (if need be) at work. She believes it is a parental right and a baby's right, as well as in the best interest for their wellbeing, to have workplace support for breastfeeding.
Georgia has also appreciated how the experience has helped her own professional growth, given her speciality area of nursing.
''I definitely feel that becoming a mum has given me a deeper understanding and more skills when it comes to helping a woman with her own breastfeeding experience, knowing how difficult it can sometimes be to get off to a good start.''
World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) runs from August 1 - 7. It aims to highlight the benefits that breastfeeding can bring to both the health and welfare of babies and a broader impact on maternal health.
The Paediatric Society of New Zealand (PSNZ), the New Zealand Breastfeeding Alliance (NZBA), and the New Zealand College of Midwives (NZCOM) have joined forces to highlight the importance of creating breastfeeding-friendly workplaces across Aotearoa.
NZ Breastfeeding Alliance Executive Officer Jane Cartwright said that small changes make a big impact.
“I encourage employers to facilitate what is needed for their staff to continue breastfeeding when they return to work. It’s a significant step in improving infant and whānau wellbeing.”
Jane said there are simple and low-cost things employers can do that make a huge difference to breastfeeding parents.
Georgia has workplace support to continue breastfeeding 15-month old son Archer