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  • Breast feeding and returning to work

    Just looking for peoples general opinion and also if they know any legalities about it.
    This is in Australia so please only pass comment on the legalities if you know the Australian rules.

    I have a workmate that had a child in April 2017. She returned to work in March 2018. Our shifts are on a rotating 7 day roster mostly day shifts but occasional evening shifts (2-3 in 4 weeks)
    Her maternity leave replacement did her fair share of eve shifts ( 2:30-11pm)
    Since she returned to work , she has requested not to do eve shifts as she is still breast feeding her child once a day at 6:30pm.

    This means myself and my colleagues are covering eve shifts she would normally be rostered to do.

    3 months ago this same colleague went on an overseas holiday for 10 days and left her child with her in laws at home . So obviously the child wasnít breast fed for that duration.
    She claims her child was distressed at not being breast fed during that time and now needs to continue to do so? So still canít work the eve shift?

    She was more than happy to go on an overseas holiday and not breast feed her child for that duration , yet claims she canít do 2 nights a month of eve shifts at work.

    Thoughts please?






  • #2
    I don't know about the rules in Australia, but her argument doesn't hold water. Lots of women work who are breastfeeding. I'm sure they sell breastpumps in Australia.
    "What lips my lips have kissed and where and why I have forgotten." ~Edna St. Vincent Millay

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    • #3
      She can express milk. There is no reason she can't work night shifts.

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      • #4
        Yep... pump her milk and have her husband feed (and therefore bond) the baby for the 6:30 shift.

        If you have a Union, I'd be asking them this question.
        "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!

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        • #5
          Seems like this gal is really milking the situation.
          "What lips my lips have kissed and where and why I have forgotten." ~Edna St. Vincent Millay

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          • #6

            Maggiemay4791 I'm an American and don't know how breastfeeding situations are in Australia regarding the workplace. My company actually has a pumping station lounge for new working mothers which is near the restroom area. Times have changed where I am.

            As for the new mother at your workplace, she has her own excuses regarding her 10 day holiday but I'd chalk it up to her strong maternal desire to be with her baby especially at the end of the day to bond and nurse her baby. My thoughts are for you and your co-workers to yield on this one and pick up her slack because this breastfeeding phase of hers will not last forever. Give her time with her baby and when she's done breastfeeding, she'll be back to work working her share of night shifts.
            "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by chanelle View Post
              Maggiemay4791 I'm an American and don't know how breastfeeding situations are in Australia regarding the workplace. My company actually has a pumping station lounge for new working mothers which is near the restroom area. Times have changed where I am.

              As for the new mother at your workplace, she has her own excuses regarding her 10 day holiday but I'd chalk it up to her strong maternal desire to be with her baby especially at the end of the day to bond and nurse her baby. My thoughts are for you and your co-workers to yield on this one and pick up her slack because this breastfeeding phase of hers will not last forever. Give her time with her baby and when she's done breastfeeding, she'll be back to work working her share of night shifts.
              She returned to work 4 days a week. Most mothers initially return for 2 or 3 days a week.
              She had no child care expenses as her parents do the child minding.
              And she is in no shortage of money, nice house , two luxury cars , luxury holidays yearly.

              So I donít really buy into the bonding thing.
              She left her 16 month old with her parents for 10 days voluntarily just to go on an overseas holiday.
              It wasnít for a family wedding or a necessary work conference or anything. It was her choice.

              Yet she cant possibly part with her for 2 evenings a month? She would be home at 11:30pm! Itís not an overnight shift!

              She just doesnt want to do the shift that none of us want to do. And is prolonging it .
              Her child is now 19 months old and eating solids.

              To my knowledge , mothers returning to work have a right to reduced hours but not which shifts.
              We have already honoured her request not to work a given day of the week.

              Equal opportunities and rights is all well and good , but when employers succumb to requests such as hers , they are doing so without regard for non mothers such as myself who has worked 10 Christmas days out of 15 because I donít have kids so my Christmas doesnít matter? Neither do my evenings apparently.

              I think I will do as phases suggested and consult the union. Because itís about time they stood up for everyone.


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              • #8
                I'm with Maggie on this one. This woman is using her own child as an excuse to get out of the night shifts. If she was so desperate to keep up the this special breastfeeding ritual then why go away for 10 days. That's a long time to not see your child so she's very self absorbed. I personally miss my daughter like crazy if I'm away from her for 1 night. Longest I've been away from her is 2 nights when she went on a school trip and I missed her like crazy.

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                • #9
                  Your frustration is very valid Maggie.
                  I can't comment on the legal side, but I can't imagine this being allowed. It doesn't make any sense at all.
                  I do know that where I'm from (Belgium), women are given certain liberties during breastfeeding. F.e. I will have 3 months of maternity leave but after that I'm allowed to take 15 minute breaks several times a day to pump throughout the day. However this only holds up as long as I can offer proof to my employer that I'm still breastfeeding. This is given by a gynaecologist or pediatrician. And only until my baby's a year old.
                  Union sounds like a good idea.
                  You can't control the waves, but you can learn to surf

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                  • #10


                    Maggiemay4791 Thank you for explaining as I did not know all the particulars. Well then, you should complain to your superiors because you're not treated fairly. This mother chose to have her baby so she must bear the responsibilities that go along with it such as working shifts as scheduled to be fair and square with co-workers. It's not easy being a working mother but this is what she signed up for in life and now it's time to work hard and do it all with her juggling act.

                    I do hope you get time off for Christmas. You deserve it even if you're not a mother. You should be able to enjoy your Christmas celebration just like the next person.
                    "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by chanelle View Post

                      Maggiemay4791 Thank you for explaining as I did not know all the particulars. Well then, you should complain to your superiors because you're not treated fairly. This mother chose to have her baby so she must bear the responsibilities that go along with it such as working shifts as scheduled to be fair and square with co-workers. It's not easy being a working mother but this is what she signed up for in life and now it's time to work hard and do it all with her juggling act.

                      I do hope you get time off for Christmas. You deserve it even if you're not a mother. You should be able to enjoy your Christmas celebration just like the next person.
                      I absolutely agree that being a mother and working is not easy. But itís still a choice. But that choice shouldnít be dependant on others to cop the slack. Choose to work or not.

                      My sister who is a mum to young kids hosted Christmas last year despite having to work a 12 hr night shift that night. I couldnít because while I had Christmas Day off , I worked 6 days prior and 6 days after.
                      This year I am hosting. I have Christmas Eve and day off. But Iím working 7 days straight up until Christmas Eve including an eve shift that this person wonít do.

                      I just canít see the fairness in it.

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                      • #12
                        Maggiemay4791 Yes, it's a choice to be a mother and the overwhelming responsibilities that go along with it. There is supreme joy like no other but a mother's duties are quite heavy for decades and we never stop worrying about children even after they're all grown.

                        Your sister did a lot and I'm sorry you didn't get Christmas Day off but I'm glad this time you get the day off and host while giving your sister a break.

                        I agree, it's unfair that your co-worker mother isn't pulling her weight. Hope you can resolve this.
                        "If you bungle raising your children, whatever else you do well in life doesn't matter very much."

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by chanelle View Post

                          I agree, it's unfair that your co-worker mother isn't pulling her weight. Hope you can resolve this.
                          Indeed
                          Last edited by phasesofthemoon; November 27th, 2018, 09:30 PM.
                          "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!

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