Breastfeeding for the Working Mom
One of the challenges of going back to work after baby is breastfeeding. Because breastfeeding at work laws vary from place to place, it is common for problems to be encountered when breastfeeding a newborn, just as women can encounter problems when breastfeeding in public. However, know that as a breastfeeding mother, you do have options when it comes to feeding your newborn. Read on for breastfeeding tips and learn how to cope with breastfeeding at work and discover some convenient breastfeeding alternatives.
Breastfeeding At Work: What Are My Options?
Your options for breastfeeding in the workplace depend on your work situation; namely your boss’s attitude towards feeding, the nature of your job as well as your hours.
Talk to your boss about breastfeeding before returning to work; some companies have special breastfeeding areas or rooms where new moms can feed their newborns. This usually consists of a private room that can be locked from the inside and that also has a place to wash and store equipment and a comfortable chair. A refrigerator is also on hand so that you may store your breast milk for later feedings.
In addition, some of these workplaces also have on-site daycares, meaning that your child is taken care of while you’re at work, making them very practical options.
Also, such workplaces allow you to express your milk so that you can maintain a high milk supply. A hand pump or an electric pump can help you store your milk, and the latter option is a particularly effective option for pumping your breast milk.
Coping With Breastfeeding At Work
If breastfeeding at work is not an option for you, there are a variety of breastfeeding alternatives available.
Depending on your field of work, working from home might be an option. This will also provide you with some extra bonding time with your newborn and also reduce the cost of commuting.
If you live very close to your work, or if you have a relative or other care provider near your place of employment, you can breastfeed your baby during your lunch hour and leave bottles of expressed milk for other feedings throughout the day.
If your partner is on leave or works from home, or you have a live-in nanny or other care provider, pumping your milk is another way to keep breastfeeding your baby. Fresh refrigerated and unsterilized milk can be used for up to 48 hours after its collection. Frozen milk (put in a refrigerator freezer) can be stored for up to a maximum of 1 week; after that, it should be stored into a deep freezer. Milk should be expressed every 2 to 3 hours in order to maintain a healthy milk supply.
More Breastfeeding Tips
Whatever breastfeeding option works for you during the workweek, it’s best to have a different schedule before and after work. After-work feedings should be more relaxed and leisurely; this will be comfortable for you and more satisfying for your baby and gives you more time with your baby. Also, being more relaxed helps keep your milk supply levels up.
Also, be sure to follow a more relaxed breastfeeding schedule on weekends as well. These feedings are an ideal time for bonding with your newborn.