Have you made the important decision to breastfeed your newborn baby? According to Womenshealth.gov, there are several benefits to breastfeeding, including benefits for both mom and baby. Breast milk is nutrient and antioxidant rich, can help fight disease in infants and may be easier to digest than formula. For moms, breastfeeding can lower your risk for certain diseases, make you feel great, help you save money and even make life easier. But for working moms, that may not seem like the case. Here are some tips for continuing breastfeeding, even after maternity leave is over.
Talk to Your Employer
Before returning to work, talk to your employer about your decision to continue breastfeeding while working. Your supervisor may suggest a particular place for your to go to pump, and can help you with scheduling your breaks for pumping. You may also want to connect with a coworker who previously breastfed at work and can give you tips and advice.
Invest In a Good Pump
A good electric pump that allows you to pump from both breasts at the same time will help reduce the time you need to pump during work.
Properly Store Milk
Be sure that you have a means to properly store your breast milk while you are at work. A lunch box inside of the fridge, or a mini cooler with ice packs can work for storage.
Breastfeed When You Are Home
When you do have the opportunity to breastfeed your baby–in the mornings and evenings before and after work, make sure you do and save pumped breast milk for times when you are away or your baby is at childcare.
Find a Private Area to Pump
If your office does not have a specified breastfeeding lounge, work with your employer to find a location that will suit your needs. An office with a door, a small unused storage space or a closed conference room can work for a private space.
Keep a Pumping Schedule
While you are at work, you should pump every two to three hours, ideally. This should provide enough supply of milk for your baby to drink while you are at work and will keep your milk supply up enough that you can nurse your baby in the morning and evening.
For more information on the benefits of breastfeeding, visit us online at Central Florida Regional Hospital or call our free Consult-A-Nurse® Service at 1-800-445-3392 for health information and physician referrals.