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First time mum Thima talks about breastfeeding at work in Singapore and her reasons why she decided to breastfeed.

We chat with Thima about the working mums situation in Singapore, breastfeeding at work and even tips to breastfeed with ease.

 

Judging from the photo, Flok seems like a really cool company. How else has your company helped its employees who are working mums?

Flok definitely is a fun place to be working at! At the moment, there's only 1 other person in the company who has a child; we are a pretty young bunch of Flokers after all. But the working hours are quite flexible and our bosses, James Robbins & Brendan Millar, are uber understanding dudes - so, when we say we need to get off work early or need to bring bub to the doctor's at short notice, they are totally cool with it.

I recently came back from a 6 month maternity leave. When I asked Brendan and James about extending my leave beyond the 16-week leave given, I wasn't too apprehensive about how they would react because I knew they cared about their employees. And true to form, they were very supportive and told me to do what I felt was best for Zacary, my son. They even asked if I was going to be able to manage financially, with 2 months of unpaid leave. Having this kind of concern, support and job security, really helped put my mind at ease while I was looking after my baby.

Now that I'm back at work, I've asked James if I can come in earlier than the stipulated working hours so that I can head off earlier, before the peak CBD human crush hits the trains, and get back home to my baby. Again, he was supportive and told me I could. This has certainly help ease the transition back into being a working mum.

What compelled you to come up with the sign and how has the reaction from your colleagues been like?

I want Zacary to reap the benefits of drinking breast milk for as long as I am able to sustain the supply. So, the only way to continue that is to express my milk while at work. I asked James if I could use one of our meeting rooms as a "pump room" and he was cool with it. I sent out an email to the office, letting them know about this arrangement and I told my colleagues that I would hang a sign on the door to the room whenever I was using it to express (milk).

I decided to add some element of fun to the sign, I suppose, to create the impression that expressing milk is a totally natural process and there's nothing to be embarrassed about it! Most of the guys here know I'm pretty kooky anyway, so they hardly bat an eyelid when I put that sign up!

 ThimaFeatured

Are you a first-time mum and how long have you been a working mum?
Yes, I'm a first-time mum and I've only been back at work since the 3rd of Dec!

What advice do you have for other working mums out there?
Initially, it will be very difficult leaving bub and heading off to work. Zacary is constantly on my mind and I miss him while I'm at work. Having said that, I know that it gets a little easier as the days go by because Mothers are Superwomen and we learn to deal well with situations and make the best of it!
So now, I focus my happiness on the time I have with Zac before I leave for work and the time I get with him as soon as I am back home! Mommas will be happier if they try doing this rather than remain depressed about the temporary separation.

What was the typical reaction to your photo?
I think reactions were very positive! Many laughed and found it cool that I could make light of a seemingly sensitive/private topic. The thing is, breastfeeding and expressing milk are very natural processes for Mommas to engage in; we needn't shy away from it. In fact, we should be open and proud about the fact that we are putting in great effort to give our children the best!
Read on to hear what Thima has to say about breastfeeding at work.

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