- Employers who give mothers the time to breastfeed, and designate a place where they can do so in hygienic conditions, benefit in terms of increased productivity as a result of lower parental absence on account of improved child health, a higher rate of return to work and enhanced employee morale, says Manuela Tomei, head of the ILO Labour Protection Department.
World Breastfeeding Week (Aug 1-7) was celebrated in more than 170 countries to encourage the practice and improve the health of babies. Marking the occasion, the ILO highlights the importance of allowing breastfeeding at the workplace.
A report published by the ILO in 2010, “Maternity at Work: A review of national legislation” says that legislation in at least 92 countries provides for breastfeeding breaks, in addition to regular breaks, for nursing mothers. The time allowed is often at least one hour, usually divided into two breaks of 30 minutes each.