Breastfeeding and Returning to Work

April 3, 2012
Breastfeeding and Returning to Work

You’re not alone – new mothers are returning to work in large numbers. It’s normal to feel sad when it’s time to go back to work after having a baby. However, try to look at returning to work with a positive attitude and seek support from other moms that have been through the same thing, maybe even in the same office. This support and positive attitude can help make pumping easier and make the transition back to work smoother.

Talk to other breastfeeding moms in your office. They will be a great support system as you adjust to pumping at work. They may even have some tips to share that worked well in your office environment. Pumping isn’t always easy when you’re balancing the demands of your job with the needs of your baby. It also may be reassuring to know that the government supports a working mother’s need to provide breastmilk to her baby. Employers are required to provide a reasonable break for mothers to breastfeed or pump, in a space other than a bathroom.  Support from other moms will help keep you calm and comfortable, allowing you to relax and pump as efficiently as possible. Remember, your supply often depends on your general health and stress level.

Keep photos and videos of your baby at work. Also, consider bringing an item of clothing or cloth that smells like your baby. These sensory experiences will help remind you of cuddling and caring for your little one and may make pumping at work easier. Those pleasant images and smells can also act as motivation to keep pumping, even on those busy days at work.

Support breastfeeding at home. Talk to your baby’s caregivers about your commitment to breastfeeding and how they can help support your hard work, even when you’re not there. Try Calma, a unique breastmilk bottle that mimics your baby’s natural feeding behavior, making it easier to transition from bottle to breast. With this bottle, milk will only flow when your baby creates a vacuum, similar to breastfeeding. Knowing your little one is getting the best care, while supporting breastfeeding will help to comfort you. Also, ask caregivers to feed your baby no later than an hour before you return home to pick him up. That way your baby will be ready to breastfeed right when you get home. Besides, who doesn’t love cuddling with their little one right when they walk in the door?

How did you stay positive while pumping at work? Share your advice in the comments below.

2 thoughts on “Breastfeeding and Returning to Work

  1. I took videos of my baby with my iPhone and of course pictures too. I created a file for just the photos and videos of her and I set it up to play on loop when I pump. I returned to work when she was 3 months old. She’s just turned 10 months and I still watch it from time to time. The videos helped with separation and encouraged me to pump. I’m only pumping one or two times a day at work now, but I still get about 5oz for her to have while she’s at daycare. It’s getting harder to motivate to pump though. I’d love to have lunch hours for myself again!

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