Breastfeeding Tips by Arrington
If you are not sure that you can continue breastfeeding after you return to work, try it for at least 30 days. Read Working and Breastfeeding Made Easy.
You are your baby’s best source of nutrition, immunities and bonding. Many women work and breastfeed for a year or more. There are so many reasons that you should breastfeed your baby.
The second of my breastfeeding tips is to take as much maternity leave as you can after your baby is born. This will give you as much time as possible to bond. It will also make returning to work easier because baby’s nap and feeding routines usually stabilize between three and four months old. Make a point to focus on your baby and getting enough sleep while you are out on maternity leave. Also be sure to drink plenty of water to replace the fluid you are losing while nursing. Need some motivation? Read Why You Should Breastfeed Your Baby.
Consider returning to work on a Wednesday or Thursday so that both you and baby can ease into the new routine. This way you will be less exhausted when the weekend arrives. Better yet, if your employer is flexible consider returning part time for a few weeks before starting up full time work again.
Call Human Resources before you return to work to find out where the Mothers Room is in your building. Explain your intention to express breastmilk for your baby. Human Resources is usually very helpful. Only larger companies are required to provide a mothers room so that their working mothers can nurse or express milk while at work. If you work for a smaller company, consider using your car as your perfect pumping place.
Here are some more great tips for Working and Breastfeeding.
Find a pump that works well for you. My favorite is the
Medela Pump and Go because I can set it on the tiniest ledge and open the front to provide a nice CLEAN shelf for me to put my pump attachments and bottles/bags on while I am pumping.
Make sure you always have a bottle of water to drink while you pump. Get in the habit of drinking at least 8 oz of filtered water every time you pump (or nurse for that matter). Wear clothes that are easy to pump in. I invested in a couple pairs of black pants along with a couple knit tops that I could pair with a business jacket if necessary. That way I only needed to pull up my shirt to pump.
I also invested in a Medela Easy Expression Hands Free Pumping Bustier because it was easy for me to zip on and slide up under my work shirt on top of my nursing bra. Then it was simply a matter of attaching the pump attachments and the pump bra would hold them in place.
Alternatively, some nursing bras also double as pumping bras La Leche 4105 Hands Free Pumping & Nursing Softcup Bra but I never liked them because my babies didn’t like fabric covering my breasts while they were nursing. They preferred the nursing bras that unclipped all the way. My favorite is the Anita Maternity Women's Softcup Nursing Bra because it unclips easily and is made of microfiber so it dries quickly and is more comfortable to wear than all of the other nursing bras I tried.
Find a place where you can pump in private, ideally a place you can make your own and get comfortable in. Most companies are required to provide a private place to nurse. Ask HR about it. Check out How To Express Breast Milk and Working and Breastfeeding Made Easy for more ideas about pumping at work.
If you work for a smaller company, or are on the road a lot, consider pumping in your car. Personally, I view my car as a wonderful place to both nurse and pump. While one of my most controversial breastfeeding tips, I've found that nursing in public can be very distracting for babies. I found I got a much better nursing in if I took my daughters back to the car where I could nurse in comfort with my Brest Friend nursing pillow and a sunshade over the window--if necessary. While letdown was sometimes a problem for me when in new places or even in my office building, I found it easier to change gears into the pumping mindset in my car.
Make sure to pump at regular intervals. I created a reoccurring “meeting” on my Microsoft Outlook work calendar so that my time was automatically blocked. Because I always took four months maternity leave, I was able to pump every four or five hours when I returned to work. This meant that I nursed my baby immediately before leaving for work, then pump at noon. I would pump again around four o’clock in the afternoon which gave my breasts plenty of time to fill back up before I returned home and nursed at six o’clock in the evening. I would then nurse again around nine o’clock in the evening and one last time right before I went to sleep. You want to make sure to physically nurse at least four times a day along with one or two pumping sessions.
For my last baby, I came up with something that I liked even better. Instead of teaching my daughter to sleep thru the night, I never gave up the four o’clock in the morning feeding. That meant I gave her two “dream feeds”, one right before I went to bed and one at four o’clock in the morning. By” dream feed” I mean that I kept the room dark and simply picked her up, lay down on my bed and nursed her and then put her back into bed. She never really woke up. The entire process took between ten and fifteen minutes from start to finish. By keeping the four o’clock in the morning nursing, I was able to skip pumping in the afternoon and I never had a problem with my milk supply.
I prefer nursing when I wake up at night over having to pump twice at work. Heck, I have to go to the bathroom every three or four hours anyway, so I never set an alarm clock.
These are simply Breastfeeding Tips, YOU be the judge of what works best for you.