The demands of work coupled with the demands of being a new mother can be overwhelming. Though infant formula is widely available, breast milk should always be the first option because of its health benefits for your child. However, the problem is how to be able to have a regular supply of breast milk without having to sacrifice work. This is especially true for the mothers who would be returning to their jobs after maternity leave.
Here are some of the things you might want to consider in breastfeeding after going back to work:
- Be informed. Speak with your doctor regarding your plan. Have your doctor give you the necessary information for proper breast pump schedules and correct breast milk storage. Getting the doctor’s advice is vital in carrying out your plan of giving breast milk to your child. Your doctor may even give you tips on how to pump milk more efficiently.
- Talk it over. You and your partner should both agree with each other that this is the only thing you can do for your baby. Having the support that you need from him will be vital in making your plan successful. Feeding schedules would also go more smoothly if you have talked it over.
- Invest in breast pumps. A good breast pump will be important in the process of giving breast milk, since you will use this device yourself. If possible, ask relatives or friends who opted to give their children breast milk, because they will be the ones with the first hand knowledge on good pumps. Price range of breast pumps may vary from store to store. Checking these online would also help so that you save time and effort.
- Start now. The baby will need time to get used to using a bottle for feeding. Ideally, this is done when the baby is six to eight weeks old. But if you haven’t done this, then the time is now. Delaying it would only give you and your baby a harder time.
- Inform your boss. Prior to returning to work, inform your boss on your decision to give breast milk to your baby. This is to ensure that you have ample time to talk to him. Your boss may then assist your concern or direct you to the proper office personnel for this matter. Give it at least one week notice before you return to work because at times writing an e-mail may not be enough.
- Give it time. Breast pumping in the office is something that a mother needs time to get used to. Some mothers that return to work get all tensed up, thus, making pumping difficult for them. Though there might be anxiety on your part, try to relax before pumping. It really depends from mother to mother but sometimes, it’s easier if you imagine something peaceful like the face of your sleeping baby. It may sound ridiculous but it can work to your advantage. If that does not work, try to imitate your baby’s feeding schedule at home. For example if your baby feeds every two hours or so, try to pump also within that schedule.
Remember that your choice to give your child breast milk should make you feel proud as a mother. Pumping in the office should give you a sense of fulfillment as well as accomplishment because this is something that will work to the advantage of your child in the future.