Staff Breastfeeding Policy

Capital Health has a Employee Breastfeeding CH 40-107 policy to support employees who are breastfeeding while working. This could include an employee returning from a leave or starting as a new employee.

CH supports breastfeeding and respects each person’s decision about how to feed their child. Health Canada recommends children be exclusively breastfed for the first six months, with continued breastfeeding encouraged after solid foods are introduced up to and beyond two years of age.

"Two years?" Many people are surprised by that. In North America we don’t often do this or see woman breastfeeding past the infant stage. But this is what the research is telling us is the best and healthiest for our children. Surprised? Breastfeeding decreases a child’s risk of asthma, diarrhea, lung and ear infections, diabetes and obesity. Breastfeeding decreases a mother’s risk of breast and ovarian cancers, osteoporosis, heart disease and bleeding after birth.

When staff are supported to breastfeed while working, there is an easier transition back to work, lower employee absenteeism and turnover rates, lower health care costs and improved productivity and loyalty among employees. Breastfeeding rates are improved when there are supportive environments for breastfeeding in the workplace. This is especially important in Nova Scotia, as we have some of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the country. Less than 10 per cent of Nova Scotians are meeting Health Canada’s recommendation for exclusive breastfeeding at six months.

Harassment and discrimination toward a woman who is breastfeeding is considered sex-based discrimination under the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Harassment or discrimination toward any Capital Health staff member will not be tolerated.