The first Sunday in March marked Mothers’ Day. We hope that all mothers had a lovely weekend with their families, and they received flowers, chocolates, breakfast in bed, and above all, love and appreciation. 

Sadly, the latest data do not show that mothers’ problems will be solved with flowers and chocolates. Let’s consider how mothers are doing: 

According to a US survey published by Motherly:

  • 46% of mothers are seeking therapy
  • 62% of mothers report getting less than an hour to themselves a day
  • 78% of mothers admit to sacrificing sleep to take care of their families

According to a UK survey published by REC Parenting: 

  • 46% of working mothers have considered leaving their job because they can’t handle their work and parenting responsibilities:

According to a survey recently published by Calm:

  • 90% of women said family planning challenges can be all-consuming and affect their mental health and their ability to focus at work and be productive
  • 17% of working mothers did not talk to anyone when experiencing challenges with their children’s mental health, and 14% did not discuss their miscarriage or pregnancy loss

According to a UK survey by Bright Horizons:

  • 74% of women say they carry the mental load for parenting compared to 48% of men
  • 51% of women say they work flexibly to fulfil childcare requirements compared to 27% of men
  • 63% of women report feeling confident discussing family-related issues with their employer

All in all, the latest research tells us that mothers are facing significant issues. They need support. Employers are in a perfect position to ease some of the worries that their working mothers are facing. What actions can they take?

Thiago Cerqueira via Unsplash
  • Create truly family-friendly workplaces: Start the conversation around what needs to change to better support mothers, model caring out loud, create an ERG for parents and caregivers…
  • When designing employees’ benefit package: Make mothers’ mental health a priority
  • Train line managers so they are better able to support working mothers in their teams
  • Offer 24/7 expert parenting support
  • Offer flexible working
  • Help with childcare 

Flowers and chocolates are a great gift but I bet that all working mothers would say that receiving support for their employers would be the best gift ever. And let’s not forget that when we support mothers, we are supporting their children. 

If you think your organization can do more to support your working mothers and anyone who mothers, do get in touch. There are so many things that we can do together!

Much love,


Dr Ana Aznar

You had your baby, you got into the breastfeeding swing, you have the routine mastered (or almost!) and before you know it, it’s time to go back to work. If you decide to keep on breastfeeding (no judgement here, whatever you decide is great), there are quite a few things for you to consider and to discuss with your employer. Don’t forget that to make breastfeeding at work a success, there needs to be communication and commitment between your employer, your line manager, and yourself (if your baby cooperates it will be a big bonus!). Let’s explore actions that all three parties involved should consider taking.

The employer should:

  • Create an environment that supports working parents. Send a clear message that senior leadership supports breast-feeding employees. 
  • Issue a written lactation policy.
  • Offer a break allowance for mothers to express milk or feed their baby. 
  • Offer flexible working hours for breastfeeding mothers.
  • Offer a warm, clean, and private room for expressing (not a toilet, please!) and a fridge (a separate one, if possible) to store the milk.
  • Offer training to line managers so they know how to deal with this issue.
  • Hire a lactation consultant to give extra support to employees, whenever feasible. 

The line manager should: 

  • Have a conversation early on with the working parent so they know what to expect when she comes back and necessary arrangements can be made (e.g., flexible working, arranging breaks…). Do not assume that the employee will breastfeed (or not). 
  • Check-in every once in a while, to see how things are going.
  • Be supportive and empathetic. Staff may feel self-conscious discussing this issue.

The working parent should:

  • Think early about what they want to do regarding breastfeeding (or not) and discuss it with the line manager or HR. 
  • Ask colleagues who have been in the same situation for advice.
  • Be gentle with yourself. Balancing work and breastfeeding can feel like a real struggle, don’t feel bad if things don’t go as planned, and remember that you are doing the best you can. Try to eat well and get some rest (easier said than done, we know) because working and breastfeeding can be really tiring, especially during the first weeks. 
  • Consider the logistics: Practice giving your baby expressed milk before you start working again so they get used to it, try to build an ‘expressed milk bank’, and decide how you will store and transport the milk safely. 
  • Ask for help when you need it, don’t struggle in silence!

Some employers must be thinking, why should I support breastfeeding mothers in my workforce? Why is it my concern? 

Dave Clubb via Unsplash

Employers should support working breastfeeding mothers because:

  • It is an excellent way of retaining and attracting talent. Remember that 1 in 4 working new mothers do not return to work. According to The Telegraph losing staff costs British business approximately £4 billion each year. 
  • Being family friendly also extends to your customers. 83% of millennials only want to deal with companies that share their values.
  • It reduces absenteeism. Breastfeeding has positive health effects (e.g., lower chances of developing some types of cancer) and for babies (e.g., protects them against infections). 
  • It improves your employees’ work-life balance. Make their life easier! 

To support mums who are considering breastfeeding or who are currently breastfeeding, we have a new masterclass by Dee Bell RM, IBCLC, Specialist Tongue-tie Practitioner and founder of the Infant Feeding Academy. You can watch it here. It provides all the information needed about breastfeeding positions, foods to have or not to have, sore nipples, or expressing milk manually. 

If you are an employer who would like to improve the support you offer to your working parents or an employee who would like their employer to get better at it, email me to have a chat! As always, we are here to support you, whatever the issues are. 



Dr Ana Aznar

Registered in England & Wales. Company No.13460950. Registered office Salatin House, 19 Cedar Road, Sutton, SM2 5DA, United Kingdom

Important information about cookies
This web portal uses its own and third-party cookies to collect information that helps optimize your visit. Cookies are not used to collect personal information. You can allow its use or reject it, you can also change its settings whenever you want. More information is available in our Cookies policy.
These cookies help make the website usable by activating basic functions such as web browsing. page and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.
Statistical cookies help website owners understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and providing information anonymously.