Expressing milk at work: going back to work while breastfeeding

Expressing milk at work: going back to work while breastfeeding

How to manage a return to work and continue to breastfeed

Expressing yourself at work – how a phrase can take on a totally different meaning after childbirth!

Many working moms are anxious about being able to continue to breastfeed once they return to work. It takes commitment but it is possible.

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 they 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.
Practical tips:
  • You can leave expressed breast milk at room temperature for about six to eight hours, or in the refrigerator or a cooler for 3 to 5 days, if you need to, since it contains natural preservatives. You can also freeze breast milk for future use. Thaw frozen milk by setting it out at room temperature or running it under warm water. Once unfrozen, do not refreeze.
    Stored milk should be gently shaken, as the fat will have separated and risen to the top.
  • There are several ways to express your breast milk: by hand, with a hand pump, or with a motorized electric pump. Renting an electric pump for a few months may produce the best results.
  • Nursing frequently in the evening and at night will keep up your milk supply and can give you the special closeness to your baby 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.
While it might seem daunting, moms who have had success expressing at work say it helps them to feel close to their babies even when they have to be away.
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swirl not shake


Good read but felt it necessary to add that breast milk shoy be swirled not shaken to mix breast milk after separation. Shaking breaks down the natural elements in the breast milk and creates air bubbles that baby may drink.

Laws to help

mterry 9/22/2015

it really helps that it is a federal law now to provide space and time at work to express milk. Insurance companies also have to cover some sort of pump. Good things to know to support our feeding efforts.

thank you

Tee Tee 9/21/2015

While I'm not looking forward to leaving her this article makes me feel good about my decision to do my best to continue breastfeeding while working

expressing at work


I am so thank full that their is a private room at work and that my manager is very understanding.


Teresa 9/8/2015

this is my second breastfeed grandchild. so proud of my daughter!

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