It’s not easy for working moms to breastfeed after the end of their maternity leave, but it is possible with the proper planning, tools, and of course, commitment. Here is your guide to help you ease into the breastfeeding routine.
Establish your milk supply
Many doctors discourage pumping until the baby is a month old, to avoid nipple confusion and to establish a strong bond from the constant skin-to-skin contact. Instead of trying to master the pump, just get breastfeeding to a good start. Nursing on demand will increase your milk flow and get your baby used to suckling.
Get the right tools
After the first month, invest in a good electric pump (which is faster and easier to use than a manual pump), coverups, and storage bottles. You can let baby feed from one breast, but pump from the other. Add a pumping session really early in the morning, when I had the most milk. It’s normal if you can’t get that much milk in the beginning, since no pump is as efficient at drawing milk than a baby, but your body will adjust to the additional demand. You can also slowly introduce baby to the bottle and allow other family members to feed her.
Start storing milk
As the end of your maternity leave approaches, start building your Milk Bank from whatever you’ve pumped between feedings. Freeze in small amounts, which will thaw faster, and label each with the date you pumped. You don’t need to buy an extra refrigerator, but if you’re uncomfortable about storing it right next to your meats you can get breastmilk plastic storage bags. Store in a plastic container that fits in your freezer shelf.
Pumping at the office
Ideally your company will have an area for breastfeeding. If not, look for a private spot and use a cover-up.. The hardest part is overcoming shyness. Even with a coverup and the relatively high walls of a cubicle, you can feel self-conscious knowing that everyone knows you’re breastfeeding because of the noise of the pump! But honestly—nobody cares. The noise actually helps to warn them to stay away, and after the third or fourth day people will stop asking what you are doing.