Pumping And Other Options

If you’re headed back to work after your maternity leave is over, but you’d like to continue breastfeeding your baby, you totally can with these tips in mind.

Working mom and baby

Breastfeeding as a working mom is not only possible, it can be done easily with a good support system and a plan in place for keeping your milk supply up and your baby fed while he’s in the care of others.

Start pumping, sooner rather than later

Don’t wait until the night before you head back to work to start working on your breast milk freezer stash. Once you’ve established breastfeeding with your little guy, usually after two to three weeks, you’ll want to start pumping. One reason is that you’ll need to become comfortable with the pump -- how fast it works, how to put it together and take it apart, and how to clean it. The other reason is that you’ll want to have a nice stash to work with from the get go.

Do a practice run

Before you leave your baby with his care provider on the first day of work, take a few test runs. Go out of the house for an hour or two and ease back into the workweek. You could also see if you can start back on a Wednesday or Thursday, for example, so you won’t be gone for a full week at first. Keep your nursing sessions as regular as possible, but start easing into being away during one.

Get bottle practice in

Also, you’ll want to test your kiddo out on a bottle before you’re gone all day and she’s looking at her care provider with puzzlement as she puts a bottle in her mouth. You might have to try out a few different styles. Have another family member give the baby her bottle, because she will likely take it better from someone who doesn’t have the breasts she’s used to nursing from.

Arrange for visits

If you can either arrange to go to your baby during the day or have her brought to you, you can still continue to nurse her once or twice during the day. This will help eliminate a bottle or two during the day and will help keep you close to your little one while you’re working.

More on breastfeeding

Breastfeeding: Is prep work needed?
Teaching your breastfed baby to take a bottle

Breastfeeding: Planning to pump?

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