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Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work

Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work

If you're going back to work outside the home, you can still breastfeed your baby by pumping milk at the office once or twice a day and bringing the milk home for the next day's lunch. It's one way to feel close to your baby even when you have to be away.

Be sure your workplace has a clean, private, relaxing place for you to express your milk. It will make a lot of difference in your attitude and your success. If such a place isn't made available, speak up. Many employers are willing to help out if you let them know what's needed for you and the other nursing women at your workplace.

If your employer is reluctant to help, point out the advantages the company can enjoy by supporting you. There have been plenty of studies that show the following benefits:

  • less absenteeism for parents who are at work (because of fewer days spent at home with sick kids)

  • higher employee satisfaction, and better retention, too.

Tips for Pumping and Storing Breast Milk

  • There are several ways to express your breast milk: by hand, or with a hand pump, or with a battery powered or electric pump. You can either purchase a pump or rent a hospital-grade pump.

  • You can leave expressed breast milk at room temperature for about three to four hours, or store it in the refrigerator for up to three days, if you need to, since it contains natural preservatives.

  • You can also freeze breast milk for future use. Thaw frozen milk by running it under warm water or by letting it slowly thaw in the refrigerator. Once unfrozen, do not refreeze.

  • Stored milk should be gently shaken, as the fat will have separated and risen to the top.

Nursing frequently in the evening and at night will keep up your milk supply and can give you the special closeness that you may have missed while at work. Night-time nursing is even more effective than nursing during the day, so you may want to nurse more at night, even longer than your baby needs it, in order to maintain a strong milk supply.

49 Comments

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Nervous to go back

Jodi 4/19/2016
I am a first time mom returning to work in a few days. I am a night shift nurse so I am nervous about being able to take three breaks to go pump! My little guy does really well with taking a bottle so hopefully I can keep up with his demands!

Helpful Advice

Haley 4/13/2016
I just returned to work and are still breastfeeding. My supply has been consistent which is good, but now that my LO is in daycare, I've found he's not as into nursing in the evenings as he once was. He seems to prefer a bottle at this point. I THINK it's because we moved him up to a level-2 nipple so he no longer wants to "work" for the breast. Stay with a level-1 nipple if you're hoping to continue to nurse your baby!!

Good Info

Robinson042404 4/13/2016
I returned to work and am able to pump every three hours I am lucky to have a wonderful and accommodating employer...so far my supply has stayed consistent. My LO is 10 weeks old and starting to sleep through the night so night time nursing is sparse...makes me a bit sad..but I do what I can in the evenings and early mornings.

Thanks

Adri 3/12/2016
Need to start planning for this. Afraid but was left with a good understanding.

Returning to work

Annie 3/12/2016
Very interesting! We just had our first. I am nervous to go back to work.