Hesperian Health Guides

When the Mother Works Outside the Home

Many women now work away from their homes. This can make it hard for a mother to give her baby nothing but breast milk during the first 6 months.

a worker at a sewing machine talking to her boss
But he could get sick without my milk.

A working mother should not have to choose between her work and her child’s health.

Working mothers need help. Some jobs allow a mother to bring her baby for a few months. This makes breastfeeding the easiest. If a mother has child care nearby, she might be able to breastfeed during the day, on her breaks. Some employers organize child-care centers so that parents can have their children close by.

Here are some ways to make sure your baby
gets only breast milk while you are at work:

a smiling woman with a baby on her back while she works

Keep your baby
nearby for 6 months.
Or have someone bring the baby to you at feeding time.
a woman handing a baby to another woman

When you are with your baby, feed it only from your breasts. If you sleep with the baby at night, it may feed more, and this will help you to make enough milk.

Some women ask a friend or a relative, like the baby's grandmother, to breastfeed their baby. If you want another woman to breastfeed your baby, she should be tested for HIV and have no risk of becoming infected while breastfeeding.

This page was updated:17 Apr 2019