Returning To Work When You’re Breastfeeding – Part 2

This is Part 2 in a series of posts about how to manage breastfeeding while returning to (paid) work.  Returning to work can present some challenges, but with the right information and support, these challenges (like other breastfeeding challenges) can be negotiated and overcome.

It CAN work.  You CAN continue to breastfeed your baby.  A few things can be done to make the transition easier for both of you.  Part 1 covered the planning stage when you’re leaving work and going on maternity leave.  Part 2 talks about what happens when your baby has arrived and you’re starting to look at returning to work.

  1. Establish Your Milk Supply.  If you are returning to work while your baby is quite young, it will be particularly important to work on establishing a good milk supply.  Having some extra milk stored in the freezer can take some of the pressure off when the time comes to get back to work.
  2. Make A Plan.  Once your milk is established, make a plan of how you are going to go about the logistics of pumping/storing/giving your breastmilk.  An IBCLC can help make a manageable plan for your return to work including how to maintain your supply, how much EBM your baby may need and how to encourage your baby to breastfeed when you are there.
  3. Learn About Expressing & Storing Breastmilk.  If you are going to be spending more than just a few hours away from your baby, you might like to look into a double electric breast pump.  You can hire or buy various brands.  Start expressing and storing your milk at least a month out from your return to work date if possible.  This will give you time to get used to the pump and ensure you have enough milk available.

Once you’ve had your little one, established your milk supply and looked at your options for collecting and storing your breastmilk, take the time to enjoy your little one.  It can get a bit hectic when it comes time to go back to work, and there’ll be more information about dealing with this in part 3 of this series.



Image by David Castillo Dominici

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