Breastfeeding and Working
Just because you’re going back to work doesn’t mean you need to stop breastfeeding your baby. You might choose to start supplementing with infant formula, but you can also continue to use breast milk exclusively if you’re willing (and able) to start expressing milk at work, or if you take extra time during your off hours to express and freeze breast milk.
How should I prepare?
Before you go back to work, discuss the possibility of expressing milk at work and/or your breastfeeding needs with your employer. Since it’s a good idea to freeze breast milk, use this time to get started on expressing and saving breast milk. You’ll probably need a couple of weeks to get in the routine of pumping breast milk (and to get the baby used to the nipple of a bottle, if you’ll be using one). Once you start getting the pattern of pumping, don’t forget to freeze as much breast milk as you can. Prepare your childcare provider too by making it clear how and when you want your baby to be fed while you’re at work. If at all possible, find a childcare provider who is close to your workplace (you might be able to arrange to visit for a lunchtime feeding).
How do I express breast milk?
Milk can be expressed manually, using a hand pump, or with a battery-powered or electric pump. A high-tech electric pump can look intimidating (and might remind you of a dairy farm’s automatic milking machines), but it won’t hurt. The electric ones are noisier (probably not the best kind for expressing milk at work) than hand pumps, but they stimulate the breasts more effectively and make for speedier delivery (plus you can double pump to save time). You probably won’t get much milk at all without triggering your letdown reflex; if you’re collecting a bit of extra milk at the end of a feeding, your baby will have done the job for you. If your baby isn’t around, look at photos of him or her, imagine the smell and touch of your baby – and, most importantly, relax.
- 1. The Breastfeeding Guide
- 2. The Benefits of Breastfeeding for Babies
- 3. The Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mums
- 4. Breastfeeding Discomfort
- 5. Breastfeeding Frequency
- 6. Finding the Right Breastfeeding Position
- 7. Is My Baby Getting Enough Breast Milk?
- 8. Breastfeeding and Working
- 9. Why You Might Be Unable to Breastfeed