After enjoying weeks of blissfulness with your new born baby, you realize your maternity leave is coming to an end and it's that inevitable time to get back to work. There may be instances that you are still breastfeeding your baby either exclusively or a combination with top feeds.
Breastfeeding and work is not a new concept, women have been doing it now for ages. Though juggling these two will seem difficult but if you're committed towards this you will find you steps easy through this phase of mother hood. Here are few tips that will help your journey through this a bit smoother and clear out some of those lingering doubts.
Top 5 tips on successful breastfeeding for returning to work Moms!
1. Figure out what options you have at hand:
- Many companies these that offer daycare at the office premises itself, taking advantage of this will help to feed your baby at work and without needing to pump milk.
- Work at home option if available will help initially till you get settled in to this change in schedules
- If it's possible for baby to visit it you at work you can think of this option as well
- Flexible work hours can be something you can discuss with your employer which can help you with the feeding schedules.
2. Choose the right breast pump and other accessories
- Using the right equipment is very crucial especially if you plan on expressing and storing milk for your baby. Do your research before you buy a breast pump.
- Try pumping at home and getting a hang of it before you start work so it won't be daunting when D-day arrives.
- At times the milk supply may seem less during first few pumping sessions, don't panic with more practice you'll ace this in no time. In case you are still struggling with you can always get help from a lactation expert available at a Medical Centre near to you.
- Get your baby used to taking the bottle, at times make your caregiver to give baby the feeds.
3. Be organised and plan ahead
- Try and get things ready the previous night, pack your pump bottles etc. Get to bed at a reasonable hour, sleep is very important.
- Feed baby before in the mornings before you leave and night before you sleep. Make up for feeds during the weekends. Wearing darker coloured work wear will help cover up any leakage and always carry spare top, breast pads.
4. Keep your milk supply steady
- If you are working away from baby then store expressed milk previous night and again before you leave to work.
- By increasing night time feeds, the levels of prolactin (the hormone that encourages milk production) are higher during night feedings, so this will help maintain your milk supply.
- But all this can be tiring, so plan to maximize your sleep. You can also workout a flexible schedule with your boss wherein you can use it to express milk at work.
- Remember expressed Breast milk stays good for 10 hours in room temperature and when kept in a freezer it stays fresh upto 8 days.
- Talk to your doctor about more conservative storage guidelines and appropriate containers.
5. Connect with your baby and learn to relax
- Breastfeeding is more than just supplying nutrients for your baby it's also a way to connect with your baby on an emotional level. Learn to except or ask for help from family members, it's ok if you need to cut back on some household chores.
- Juggling between breastfeeding and work can be daunting and stressful, at times you will want to throw in the towel, remember it's a short phase and you will be glad you did it.
- Meet like minded fellow Mommies who are in the same boat. By talking to people facing similar problems you will realise you're not alone in this.
In months to come this little bundle will soon spread his/her wings and start to explore new boundaries and new foods. Enjoy every minute of your breastfeeding days.....personally when my daughter was weaned I really missed our snugly time together. And I'm sure you to will too.