Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work

Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work

Many moms wonder if they'll be able to continue breastfeeding once they return to work. No worries — this is completely doable. Learn about pumping breast milk and how to manage the transition.

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.

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working moms

Bird 2/5/2016

Get info! I just went back to work

Everyone is different

Vivian 2/1/2016

Although this make it sound like a one way easy thing to do, I've noticed a dramatic decrease in my milk supply when I pump at work and breastfeed at home. I ended up having to add formula to my baby's diet since I was not able to produce enough for her. If only it was that easy for me!

Good info

sgerdts 1/31/2016

Went back to work 2 days ago so this is a helpful read.

Love this


Very Helpful Tips! I enjoy learning everything I can about breastfeeding!

Nighttime feeding question

Jacqueline's Mom 1/26/2016

My baby tends to nurse for a long time on one side at night, and my other breast if full when she is finished with the first. Would it be better for my milk supply to pump on the one side while she is eating on the other? I don't want to "rob" her of more milk if she wants to nurse on a second side.

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