Once you return to work, you can continue to breastfeed. If you live close to work or have an on-site daycare, you may be able to breastfeed during your breaks. If that isn’t possible, you have two choices:
- Keep your milk supply by using a high-quality automatic electric breast pump to express milk during the day. Save the milk that you collect for your babysitter.
- If you don’t want to or can’t pump at work, you can gradually replace daytime feedings with formula while you at home but still continue to nurse at night and in the morning. The milk your body produces may not be enough to keep your baby satisfied, even if you only need enough for 2 feedings.
Advantages of pumping at work
Pumping at work will help stimulate your milk production, so you’ll have plenty available when it comes time to feed. You can also collect the milk you pump, so your baby will have the health and nutritional benefits of breast milk even when you aren’t there. Pumping can be an ideal way to feel a connection to your baby during the workday to make things better.
Although it can seem like a hassle, many mothers find that the benefits of breast pumping far outweigh the inconvenience.
To manage pumping at work, you’ll need to have the following:
- Breast pump, preferably a fully automatic electric pump with a double collection kit so you can pump both breasts simultaneously.
- Bottles or bags for collecting and storing the milk.
- Access to a refrigerator or cooler to keep the milk cold until you return home.
- Breast pads to help protect your clothes if you start to leak.
Make sure that you get used to pumping before you return to work, so you’ll know what to expect and how it feels. You’ll be much more confident with pumping at work if you already know that you can produce enough milk.
At work, you’ll want to have somewhere that’s away from everyone else when you pump, such as an empty office or empty room. This way, you’ll be away from everyone else, and you can have the quiet tranquility you need to pump. In most offices, this shouldn’t be a problem.
You’ll want to pump every 2 – 3 hours if possible for the time frame. If you can’t, every 4 hours will have to suffice. After you have finished pumping, store the milk in the bags or bottles, clean yourself up, then go back to work. When you return home, you can feed the milk to your growing baby.
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