Not every new mom has the option of staying home after having a baby, and other moms really delight in their careers and want to keep them going. For all new moms that must get out and work, finding a balance for breastfeeding is essential. So many new moms feel like they must give up breastfeeding when they return to work and if you’re one of them, you don’t have to give it up at all! In fact, keeping going with breastfeeding is one of the best things you can do for your child and yourself.
Your baby will never need you more than she needs you now so if you are breastfeeding and worry about going back to work and how breastfeeding will be affected, here are some tips that will help you to successfully continue breastfeeding until your baby is ready to wean.
- Get a good pump
The right breast pump makes all the difference. There are even hands-free ones that you can discretely put on under your clothes that will do all the work for you, making it easy for you to multi-task. Because pumping can take a little time to get used to, make sure you start pumping at least 1 week before you go back to work so you can build up milk storage for a caregiver to use and so your body can adjust to the pump. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure you buy proper storage bags so your milk doesn’t go to waste.
- Find a supportive caregiver
It’s important you leave your baby with someone you trust as well as someone who supports your breastfeeding commitment. Whether it’s a daycare, a nanny or a family member, having someone supportive of your breastfeeding goals is essential to breastfeeding success.
- Schedule regular breaks for pumping
Your employer is required by law to allow you the break time you need to pump as well as a private place in which you can pump. If you have your own office, you can lock the door and pump comfortably there but if not, talk with your human resources department before you return to ensure you’ve got a quiet, clean and private place where you can pump. Ideally, you’ll want to shoot for pumping every 3 hours.
- Develop a strong milk supply
Before heading back to work, make sure you’ve devoted enough time to breastfeeding so your milk supply stays strong. Milk supply is determined by how often your baby suckles at your nipples. This sends a message to your brain to tell your body to make more milk so breastfeed on demand until you return to the office for the best results.
- Breastfeed on demand when you’re not at work
On evenings and weekends, cuddle up with your little one whenever she wants to nurse. This will keep your supply of breast milk going very strong as well as strengthen the bond between you and your child, something that will last a lifetime.