Returning to Work

by LiseAnne Dietz McGalliard

You know you will be returning to work after your baby is born. You want to continue breastfeeding, but you know that you will not be able or don’t want to pump at work. Can you still breastfeed? YES!! Mothers who have made this arrangement work suggest the following tips:

> Delay your return to work as long as possible. A long period of exclusive breastfeeding before returning to work ensures that your milk supply is well established and will be more tolerant of the varying demands placed on it. If possible, it works best if you can wait until your baby is at least three months old.

> Bring a manual pump, or a small battery-powered or electric pump with you when you first return to work. Pump only as much and as often as needed to remain comfortable (not too full). It will take a week or two for your body to adjust to not making as much milk during the workweek and picking up production again on the weekends or days off. After a week or two, you will not need to pump at all.

> Keep your work schedule consistent by working close to the same hours each day. This consistency helps maintain a good milk supply for nursing when you are not at work.

> Don’t be afraid to nurse even more frequently on weekends or days off. Your body will adjust.

> Nurse your baby right before you leave for work and first thing upon returning home. Some moms even use a reverse feeding schedule, waking their babies to nurse every two hours at night so that they eat less during the work day and need less formula supplementation.

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