How Do I Manage Breastfeeding and Working?
By Carie Hodes
Nope, it wasn’t easy leaving my breastfed baby and returning to work. I was confused and upset that I would no longer be able to breastfeed, however I knew that somehow I would find a balance between my baby and my work. Here are some tips I picked up to make returning to work with a breastfed baby easier:
Plan ahead: Determine what facilities are available where you work.
Purchase or rent a high quality breast pump. Make sure it’s a double pump since time will be of the essence at work. Hospital grade pumps are the best since they mimic the baby’s sucking action the closest. If breast pumps seem expensive keep in mind that the cost of purchasing formula can be $1,600 over a year.
Practice with the breast pump for several weeks before you return to work.
Don’t assume your baby will know how to drink from a bottle (I made this mistake and it caused many anxious tear filled hours). Practice giving the baby a bottle of expressed breast milk before you have to leave for work.
Stockpile milk in your freezer. It’s a wonderful feeling being “ahead” of yourself, in terms of milk supply.
Review your wardrobe! Make sure you are wearing is breast pump friendly. Don’t make the mistake I did and wear a dress with no buttons to work. Hiking the dress up to use the breast pump is not a pretty picture!
Help your letdown at work by eating / drinking before you pump. Also, looking at a picture of your baby will help. Some Moms have even recorded their baby crying and listened to it when waiting for their let down. Baby smells like worn clothing or baby powder can stimulate a let down.
Talk to other Moms at work about their experiences with pumping. They will offer a world of knowledge and useful tips about pumping at your work.
Try to pump at work as close to your baby’s feeding schedule. This will help to maintain your milk supply. Working full time will probably require two, possibly three pumping sessions.
If you are going to pump twice at work, bring two kits with you. It’s much easier to bring equipment home to wash rather than trying to clean it in the bathroom at work.
Bring a small cooler to work to store your pumped milk. When you bring it home it can be given to the caregiver to use the next day or frozen for later use. Breast milk can be stored in a deep freeze for 6 months, a refrigerator freezer for 3 months or in the fridge for 6 days. Last but not least – feel good about your decision to continue to breastfeed your baby when you return to work!
About the Author
Carie Hodes is the owner of Eco Baby Care a company dedicated to helping Moms continue breastfeeding even when separated from their baby. Please stop by for some more tips.
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