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Breastfeeding Permits: What They Are and How to Apply for Them

Maternity and Work: What are the rights of nursing mothers?

The period of motherhood is a crucial moment in a mother’s life, combining the joys of the birth of a child with the challenges of returning to work. Female employees who have to breastfeed often have to manage the delicate balance between the needs of their newborn baby and professional commitments. Italian law protects motherhood and guarantees breastfeeding permits, recognising the right of every mother to take care of her child without giving up her career.

How do breastfeeding permits work?

Breastfeeding permits are a benefit provided for working mothers, allowing them to take time off work to devote themselves to breastfeeding. These permits are guaranteed for a period that varies according to the type of return to work. If you return from compulsory maternity you are entitled to 9 months, however, for an optional maternity you are entitled to 3 months.

  • Compulsory maternity: period of abstention from work which the mother must observe by law. This period is 5 months and can be divided between the pre-birth and post-partum period. The current legislation provides that the mother may start compulsory leave at the latest 2 months before the expected date of childbirth and terminate it at the latest 3 months after childbirth. During this period, the mother receives an allowance equal to 100% of the salary.
  • Optional maternity: period of abstention from work which may be requested by the mother after the period of compulsory maternity. The maximum duration is 6 months and can be used until the child’s first year of life. During this period, the allowance received is 30% of the salary, unless there are specific collective bargaining that provides for better conditions.

In addition, it is possible that the working father may receive part of the optional maternity period in place of the mother.

How should lactation permits be applied for?

La procedura per richiedere i permessi per allattamento è semplice e richiede una comunicazione formale al datore di lavoro. La lavoratrice, nel caso in cui decida di fruire del permesso, deve presentare la domanda almeno 15 giorni prima del previsto inizio del congedo, allegando una dichiarazione del pediatra che attesti la necessità dell’allattamento.

What happens after compulsory maternity?

After compulsory maternity, the mother is entitled to two hours of rest per day during working hours to breastfeed or to use the Electric Breast Pump. These hours can be divided or accumulated according to personal and work needs.

Remuneration of the lactation permit

Under Italian law, nursing leave is paid 100% for female employees in the private sector. In the public sector, however, leave is paid 100% for the first 30 days and 50% for the next 15 days.

When does the lactation period end?

The lactation period ends with the completion of the first year of the baby’s life. However, the hours of rest granted may be used flexibly until the end of the period due.

How many months of maternity leave are due?

Working mothers are entitled to 5 months of compulsory maternity, which can be extended through optional maternity.

How many hours of breastfeeding does the father get?

Even the working father can apply for permits for breastfeeding, taking advantage of the same hours as the mother.
Who pays for nursing leave?
Breastfeeding permits are a right of workers and as such are at the expense of the employer, who is required to ensure remuneration as provided by law.

Part-time working mothers are entitled to one hour per day leave. For twins, the hours are doubled. Workplaces and public places must provide adequate space for breastfeeding or breast pump use. These regulations are essential to ensure that the lactation period can be managed in the best way, allowing mothers to reconcile family and work needs.

Mamashy, your trusted ecommerce for the purchase of breast pumps, supports mothers in this period, offering quality products for a serene and comfortable breastfeeding, both at home and at work.


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