Breastfeeding Back at Work
● By Hood Magazine
During your pregnancy, consider meeting with your human resources team and your supervisor. Understanding the laws and policies that protect you as a breastfeeding mother is critical for a smooth transition. Another option is connecting with other mothers and checking out the resources offered in your community. Talk with your employer to have a clear plan for maternity leave, a private and secure place to pump, a clearly outlined schedule for pumping and a joint agreement with your employer as to the flexibility of this schedule.
Fast forward to the weeks before you return to work. Some families choose to transition slowly and we’ve seen a lot of success with this method.
Here’s how it looks:
1. Pump during or following your first morning nursing session (4-5 sessions).
2. Identify a trusted care provider who offers a bottle (not mom).
3. Leave the house for a pedicure, shopping date or walk in the park.
4. Return a few hours later to nurse your baby and provide all kinds of cuddles and love.
Once everyone gets the hang of this, try a half-day of daycare with your identified provider. You can think of this as a trial run and use it as time to prepare for going back to work. You might go shopping for some new work clothes, sort through some emails or head to the office to connect with your supervisor and arrange your schedule. When your first full work day arrives, hopefully you’ll feel a little more prepared. Depending on the age of your child, you’ll want to pump at least every 2-3 hours. Bringing a blanket or onesie that smells like your baby or some videos will help with your milk let-down. If you’re exclusively nursing when you are home, consider leaving your pump at work. You can simply bring the milk you pumped on Monday to daycare on Tuesday (etc.). Also, don’t be afraid to ask other moms for tips and advice. You’ve got this momma! You’re going to be amazing!