Breastfeeding Tips for Working Moms: Balancing Work and Motherhood
By NCVC Staff | Published on Oct 10, 2023
Returning to work after maternity leave can be challenging for new moms, especially when it comes to continuing their breastfeeding journey. Breastfeeding offers numerous benefits for both baby and mother, and with the right tips and support, working women can successfully navigate this transition without compromising on their baby’s nutrition and well-being.
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Is Breastfeeding Still Beneficial After 6 Months?
Absolutely! Breastfeeding remains beneficial even after 6 months due to the following reasons:
- Health benefits: Breastmilk protects babies from various infections and illnesses such as diabetes, asthma, obesity, and ear infections, reducing the need for hospitalization. It provides essential nutrients tailored to the baby’s evolving needs, ensuring optimal growth and development.
- Bonding and reassurance: Breastfeeding fosters a strong bond between mother and baby. Even when returning to work, breastfeeding helps mothers maintain a close connection with their little ones.
- Work-life balance: Continued breastfeeding allows mothers to strike a balance between work and home life, minimizing the need for time off to care for a sick baby.
- Mental well-being: Breastfeeding and expressing milk help alleviate anxieties and prevent postpartum depression, ensuring emotional well-being.
Breastfeeding Tips for Working Women
If you find yourself wondering how to navigate breastfeeding while returning to work, here are some valuable tips to make your journey easier:
1. Consult an Expert
Seek guidance from a lactation counselor to understand how to introduce complementary foods and continue breastfeeding effectively. This professional support will boost your confidence and address any concerns you may have.
2. Check for Flexibility
Explore flexible work options such as working from home, if available, or consider extending your maternity leave by utilizing additional leaves. Finding a work arrangement that accommodates your breastfeeding needs can significantly ease the transition.
3. Seek Support
Arrange for trusted caretakers or family members to look after your baby while you’re at work. Ensure they are supportive of your decision to continue breastfeeding and are willing to feed the expressed milk to your baby. Additionally, some organizations offer on-site daycare facilities, allowing you to bring your baby and caregiver along.
4. Invest in Supportive Tools
Consider purchasing or renting a good-quality breast pump. Express milk before leaving for work, during work hours, and at night. Using the correct flange size and pump settings will help prevent any discomfort or tissue damage.
5. Learn How to Store Breastmilk
Store expressed milk in milk storage bags or sterilized steel or glass containers. Label each container with the date of expression. At room temperature (26 degrees Celsius), milk can be kept for up to 4 hours. In the refrigerator (4 degrees Celsius), it can be stored for up to 24 hours. Frozen milk at -18 degrees Celsius can be stored for up to 6 months.
6. Know How to Use Stored Breastmilk
Prioritize the use of older stored milk first and thaw the milk before use. Consume thawed milk within one hour and avoid refreezing it. You can incorporate thawed milk into various recipes for your baby’s complementary foods.
7. Practice Makes Perfect
About a week before resuming work, conduct a trial run. Pump milk before leaving for the office to ensure you have a sufficient amount for your baby. Nursing your baby before departing will provide them with hind milk, keeping them full for a longer period.
8. Connect with Fellow Mothers
Join breastfeeding support groups and connect with other working moms. Sharing experiences, ideas, and concerns with like-minded individuals will boost your morale and provide a platform for valuable discussions.
9. Continue Night Feeds
Even if you and your baby are half asleep, continue night feeds. This will help maintain the bond between you and your baby while providing necessary nutrition.
How to Deal with Leaking Breasts at Work?
Leaking breasts can be a concern for many new mothers. However, with a little preparation, managing breast leakage at work becomes more manageable. Consider the following tips:
- Inform your organization: Inform your employer about your breastfeeding requirements before returning to work. Request a designated space for pumping or breastfeeding your baby.
- Wear breast pads: Use breast pads to absorb any leakage and change them frequently throughout the day.
- Opt for dark clothes: Wearing dark-colored clothes can help conceal any leaks. Additionally, keeping an extra shirt at work can provide a quick solution in case of accidents.
With these breastfeeding tips for working women, you can seamlessly blend your professional life with your desire to provide your baby with the best nutrition. In case of any doubts or concerns, consulting a breastfeeding expert will provide you with personalized guidance and support.