Breastfeeding While Working Full Time
Is It Possible to Breastfeed While Working Full-Time?
When you have been breastfeeding and have to return to full-time work, but you don't want to stop breastfeeding, it is easy to keep on doing so. How?
Here are some tips to help mothers continue breastfeeding when returning to work.
1. Buy a portable breast pump. They come in battery-operated or plug-in type. When at work, take frequent breaks to pump your milk, at the least every three hours. You do have a legal right to this time off to pump your milk. Store this milk in a clean bottle in an iced cooler or a refrigerator and take it home to the baby-sitter to be used the next day or you can freeze it for future use.
2. Breastfeed your baby prior to leaving for work in the morning, as soon as you come back home in the afternoon, during the evening, and as many times as possible during weekends and holidays. The "happy departure" nursing (that is, before leaving for work in the morning) and the "happy reunion" nursing (upon returning) are generally the most pleasant.
3. Encourage your alternate care giver to give your baby a late-afternoon nap and to prevent feeding him within an hour before you are anticipated home. As soon as you get back home, take the phone off the hook, turn on some calming music, put your leg up, and nurse. Several mothers find that breastfeeding their baby as soon as they come back home helps them relax from a hectic day's work. This is possibly due to the relaxing effect of the hormone prolactin, which mothers identify as better and surely healthier than the after-work cocktail.
4. Share sleep with your baby. A lot of mothers report that upon returning to work their baby starts to wake up frequently. They're so tired from being up and down with their baby all night that they find it hard to work the next day. The cause for this is that babies often tune out the baby-sitter throughout the day and turn into frequent night feeders. This nuisance can be eased by allowing your baby to sleep next to you so that neither you nor your baby fully wakes up during feeding and your sleep is thus less disturbed. Night nursing also allows your milk supply to continue.
5. Encourage or, better still, insist that your husband do his part of household chores. If you are going to keep on breastfeeding and working, you need domestic help.
6. Think "baby" while at work. Many moms instinctively surround themselves with images of their baby while at their office. It also helps to have a picture (both actual and mental) of your baby while using the breast pump. This helps trigger your milk-producing hormones.
7. Be ready for temporary adjustment nuisances, like engorgement or leaking. These discomforts will settle inside a few weeks as your body adapts to your new breastfeeding routine.
Further tips on breastfeeding and working can be found from your local chapter of La Leche League International.