Breastfeeding leave: it is the right of the mother and child

Breastfeeding is the right of all newborn children and contributes to their proper development (immune, bone and digestive systems).

Not to mention the benefits for women, such as disease prevention ( breast cancer , for example).

The Ministry of Health recommends that until the first 6 months of the baby’s life, he feeds exclusively on breast milk, which can last up to 2 years, without any type of harm to the woman and the infant.

But many women find it difficult to reconcile breastfeeding and work, so breastfeeding leave is important.

What is breastfeeding leave?

Article 396 of the consolidation of the Labor Laws (CLT) talks about breastfeeding leave, a right of the mother and the baby. This article allows the woman, during working hours, to have at least 2 periods of 30 minutes to breastfeed the baby until the baby completes 6 months of life.

In cases of lack of structure or general impossibilities, this interval can be negotiated with the company that will be able to dismiss mom 1 hour earlier or allow her to enter 1 hour later.

As with other leave (maternity, paternity, nuptial or death), breastfeeding leave should not cause any harm to the worker. That is, wages, overtime and other benefits cannot be discounted or withdrawn.

How many days?

The breastfeeding leave lasts for 6 months, with the mother being granted the right to two 30-minute breaks to feed the child. It is also possible that the woman will be dismissed an hour earlier.

In some cases, if there are risks to the life of the mother or baby, it is possible that the woman will be allowed to stay at home for another 15 days.

However, it is worth mentioning that medical proof is required by means of a certificate.

Is someone who works 6 hours a day entitled to breastfeeding?

Yes, the law provides that regardless of the workload, whether 6 or 8 hours, she and the baby are entitled to 2 30-minute breaks that should be used for breastfeeding.

When to start counting maternity leave?

The maternity leave may be acquired and starts to be counted when the mother desired, may be between 28 days before the birth until the date on which she goes into labor. This labor right can last between 4 months (120 days) and 6 months (180 days).

If the pregnancy is risky or has complications, the pregnant woman can apply for maternity leave from the 36th week of pregnancy.

Maternity leave can be increased if the woman and the company agree to combine it with other rights such as vacation, overtime, premium leave, length of service, etc.

Depending on the agreement between the company and the worker, these combined licenses can have a maximum time of 243 days (8 months).

Remembering that maternity leave is also valid in cases of adoption of children under 12 years old.

If you have more questions about maternity leave, you can contact the National Social Security Institute (INSS).

How does paternity leave work?

Paternity leave is a labor right provided for in Article 7 of the Federal Constitution. It allows parents to have a 5-day recess after the baby is born so that they can register the child at the registry office and provide support to moms (at home or in the hospital).

Just like maternity leave, paternity leave cannot bring any damage to the worker.

It can also be extended if it is combined with other rights, such as vacation. In this case, the man must stay for 5 days on paternity leave and the other right must start counting from the 6th day.

To apply for paternity leave, the worker needs to talk to his (her) boss, leaving the company aware, and presenting the birth certificate, after the paternity leave.

It is worth remembering that, in addition to being the father’s right, it is also the baby’s right (who needs to be cared for and supported). It is also valid in cases of adoption of children under 12 years of age.

But there are cases of paternity leave that are a little more complex.

If, during labor or paternity leave, the mother dies or is unable to take care of the baby, the father will be entitled to the extension of leave from work, which lasts between 4 and 6 months.


Breastfeeding leave is a right of both mother and child, which benefits both the health and well-being of both. The Healthy Minute brings other information about pregnancy and women’s health . Follow our posts !!!

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