Despite the clear benefits of breastfeeding (see here), The vast majority of moms like me who initially breastfed their babies during Maternity leave stop doing so outrightly or gradually once returning to work. Why so? because we face nearly insurmountable barriers when it comes to feeding our babies breastmilk.
Here are 10 Breastfeeding Tips that would help you stay on the course while you return to work.
1. Explore Your Options at Work:
If you want your breastfeeding journey to be smooth, evaluate your situation carefully. Determine your specific needs. Figure out how frequently you’ll have to pump while on the job and your options at work. Talk to your employer about your desire to continue breastfeeding when you resume.
2. Invest in a good quality pump:
Pumps come in a few basic types: Single or Double-sided, and Electric, Manual, or Battery powered. In general, a working mother who is away from her baby more than 10 hours a week is going to want a high-quality double-sided electric pump.
3. Practice at home first:
Start practicing your routine a few weeks before you resume. While it’s not necessary, it’s comforting to have a little bit of a stash of milk built up at least two weeks before you return to work. You also need to start practicing bottle feeding your child ahead.
4. Introduce a bottle to your kid, if you haven’t already:
Since you won’t be at home to feed your baby, start offering a bottle to your little one from time to time, a month before you join work, to get him or her used to feeding from it.
5. Create a schedule for pumping at work, your boobs would thank you:
It is recommended that mothers should ideally pump every three hours or three times in an eight-hour workday. So, schedule your time to pump accordingly. The pumping frequency can be decreased as the baby grows older. While at work, to express milk easily, have a photo or a blanket of your baby. It will help your hormones and emotions.
6.Find a good pumping spot:
Talk over your plans with your employer long before you return to work, even before your baby is born. If there is no plan for a lactation room, don’t be afraid to mention that you will need a clean and private area where you can pump
7. Stock up on nursing bras & pads, breastfeeding clothes & milk storage bags
8.Stay hydrated and well-nourished. HERE are some great meal options.
9. Prepare your child care provider:
Have a discussion about your baby’s feeding routine, and how and when your little one will be fed while you’re at work. If your child care provider is close to your workplace, you might even be able to visit for lunchtime feedings. Don’t hesitate to ask for the help you need to make it possible
10. Store your liquid gold in an insulated bag or cooler with an ice pack,
then place the bottles or bags in the fridge or freezer as soon as you get home. Be sure to label each container with the date it was expressed.