What you need to know:
- For easier pumping, it is helpful to have a few nursing tops and bras that you can wear to work.
- The best way to ensure success is to be prepared and have a plan.
Are you a breastfeeding mother who is returning to work? Are you feeling overwhelmed and scared about how you can continue breastfeeding while working? Many mothers feel the same way. It can be difficult to balance work and breastfeeding, but it is possible with planning.
Embrace breast pumping
If you are going to be away from your baby during the day, you will need to pump breast milk. This can be a bit of a learning curve, but it is doable with practice. It is wise to start earlier while still on maternity leave to get the hang of it.
Tips for pumping:
- Invest in an excellent quality breast pump that will fit your needs
- Get comfortable with pumping before you go back to work
- Pump at regular intervals during the day to maintain your milk supply
- Store your breast milk properly
Bottle-train the baby
This means getting them used to drinking breast milk from a bottle. It is best to start this process before you return to work so that they are comfortable with it by the time you return.
Tips for bottle training:
- Give the bottle to someone else to feed the baby so that they are not associating it with you
- Use a slow-flow method to avoid nipple confusion
- Start with short periods and gradually increase the amount of time the baby is away from you
- Be patient; it may take a few tries before the baby gets used to it
Ask for help where need be
Do not be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Whether it is from your partner, your friends, or your family, a support system will make a world of difference.
Create a schedule
One of the best ways to successfully breastfeed while working is to create a schedule. This will help you plan your pumping and breastfeeding breaks ahead of time so you can make the most of them.
It will also help you stay on track and not forget to pump or breastfeed. Having a schedule will help to make breastfeeding while working a success.
It would be best if you start while still on maternity leave to get into the swing of things before returning to work.
Keep your nursing clothes
For easier pumping, it is helpful to have a few nursing tops and bras that you can wear to work. This way, you can efficiently pump or breastfeed without having to strip down completely.
Wearing nursing clothes will also make you feel more comfortable and confident while breastfeeding at work.
You can find nursing clothes that are stylish and professional so that you do not have to sacrifice your fashion sense for function.
Your baby's photo or video could help when pumping
If you are struggling with pumping while working, consider placing an image or video of your baby near where you pump or breastfeed. This can help to trigger the let-down reflex and make it easier. It is also an excellent way to feel connected to your baby during the day.
A baby blanket could also help to trigger the let-down reflex.
Hydrate and take care of yourself
Staying hydrated is important for both you and your baby. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your milk supply up.
Balance work with relaxation and make sure to get plenty of rest. This can be difficult with a baby, but it is important to try. Your body needs time to recover from pregnancy and childbirth, so give yourself grace.