Many mums wonder if they’ll be able to continue breastfeeding once they return to work. No worries — this is completely doable. Learn about pumping breast milk and how to manage the transition.
If you’re going back to work outside the home, you can still breastfeed your baby by pumping milk at the office once or twice a day and bringing the milk home for the next day’s lunch. It’s one way to feel close to your baby even when you have to be away.
Be sure your workplace has a clean, private, relaxing place for you to express your milk. It will make a lot of difference in your attitude and your success. If such a place isn’t made available, speak up. Many employers are willing to help out if you let them know what’s needed for you and the other nursing women at your workplace.
If your employer is reluctant to help, point out the advantages the company can enjoy by supporting you. There have been plenty of studies that show the following benefits:
- less absenteeism for parents who are at work (because of fewer days spent at home with sick kids)
- higher employee satisfaction, and better retention, too.
Tips for Pumping and Storing Breast Milk
- There are several ways to express your breast milk: by hand, or with a hand pump, or with a battery powered or electric pump.
- You can leave expressed breast milk at room temperature for about three to four hours, or store it in the refrigerator for up to three days, if you need to, since it contains natural preservatives.
- You can also freeze breast milk for future use. Thaw frozen milk by running it under warm water or by letting it slowly thaw in the refrigerator. Once unfrozen, do not refreeze.
- Stored milk should be gently shaken, as the fat will have separated and risen to the top.
Nursing frequently in the evening and at night will keep up your milk supply and can give you the special closeness that you may have missed while at work. Night-time nursing is even more effective than nursing during the day, so you may want to nurse more at night, even longer than your baby needs it, in order to maintain a strong milk supply.