We offer resources, support and flexibility to its employees who are lactating so they can express breast milk during the workday when separated from their newborn child. We provide lactating employees with a reasonable amount of break time to express breast milk for their baby as frequently as needed for up to 1 year after the child’s birth.
For questions about the location of lactation rooms, contact the Lifestyle Improvement Program:
Employees seeking time away to express milk should work with their manager to identify a private place—other than a bathroom—to express breast milk. Managers and employees are encouraged to contact the Lifestyle Improvement Program for assistance with identifying an appropriate location.
Planning for your lactation at work
Having a plan prior to your return to work will help ease the transition. Here are some tips to help you plan for and support your lactation at work.
Talk to your boss
Have a conversation with your boss about your intentions to pump before you go on maternity leave and again a few weeks before you return to work. This conversation should include your anticipated schedule and a request to access appropriate space.
If you are a medical resident, make sure to communicate with your program director to meet all of your lactation needs upon your return to work.
Remember to ask questions of your manager, such as:
- How will the workflow go when I come back?
- Is there a designated pumping space in my current department?
- Most mothers express for 20 to 30 minutes, 2 to 3 times during an 8-hour shift and 3 to 4 times during a 12-hour shift. How will we accommodate that?
- Do I mark my Outlook calendar as busy or is there another place to annotate my time?
- Who do I report to and advise that I am going to pump?
Our Lactation Consultants are available and happy to assist with these conversations.
Plan your return day
Consider returning to work toward the end of the week. This allows for fewer days away from your baby during your first week back and a more gradual transition.
Questions to ask yourself
- What will my breastfeeding-related needs be?
- What will my pumping schedule be while at work? Example pumping schedules can be found on websites such as Healthline.
- What supplies will I need while pumping at work?
Find lactation spaces you can use
You and your manager may identify an appropriate space prior to your return to work. If space is not available in your building contact the Lifestyle Improvement Program at 603-650-5950.
Once you’ve identified a comfortable space, schedule your pumping sessions in your calendar. Remember that a short pumping or breastfeeding session is better than no session at all. Your milk supply will decrease if you skip too many sessions.
Build a backup breastmilk supply
While you’re on leave, freeze and store the breastmilk you pump to use once you return to work. Consider storing breastmilk in small amounts (2 to 3 ounces) for unexpected situations or delays in regular feedings.
Talk with your lactation consultant about pumping options to build an ample supply before returning to work. Working with a lactation expert is important for success.
Take care of yourself
No matter how you choose to feed your child, being a working parent can be tiring. Get as much rest as you can, eat nutritious foods throughout the day, and drink plenty of water.
Government and other resources
- Talking to your Boss About Your Pump: New Hamsphire
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services hotline for breastfeeding questions: 800-994-9662
- Womenshealth.gov Guide to Breastfeeding
- New Hampshire Breastfeeding Task Force
- New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Breastfeeding Promotion and Support
- Vermont Department of Health Breastfeeding Resources and Information
- Dartmouth Health Breastfeeding policy (Note: This document is on the intranet. To access it, you must be on the network.)
- Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center Lactation Support brochure (PDF)
- Mamava Pods are private and secure with roomy benches, space for a stroller, and a place to plug in your pump. There are several pods available across Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center. Download the Mamava app to find and unlock Mamava pods.
- Women’s Health Resource Center parenting and baby support groups and classes, pumps and supplies, and boutique