Are you a new Mom returning to work? Here are some tips for breastfeeding moms returning to work!
If you haven’t already heard, my little sister just had her FIRST baby and I’m beyond excited to finally be in the same area so I can help her with everything. From breastfeeding to diaper changes, I’ve jumped in full force to assist and share my mama knowledge with the new parents.
The transition into motherhood can be stressful, especially when you know you’re prepping to leave your baby to go back to work. Planning ahead for when your maternity leave ends is important.
one. start pumping when your milk comes in.
If you pump one time a day once your milk comes in, not only will you be able to start a freezer supply, but you’ll also ease the pain you’ll be in. The sudden presence of milk in your breasts can be uncomfortable and pumping will help. Once your milk is established, pick a time to pump once a day. I always pumped after the first feeding in the morning because it is when my breasts seem to have the most excess milk. Some women like to pump in the evening after putting the baby to bed.
Must have supplies:
two. build up a freezer supply of breastmilk.
Having a solid stash of breastmilk in your freezer is a wonderful feeling. Before you head back to work, make sure you have at least one week’s worth of frozen breast milk. Pumping instead of nursing is going to be an adjustment for you and your body.
Sometimes it takes awhile for your breasts to get used to pumping instead of nursing during the day. You might pump less than your baby eats in the beginning. Don’t stress though, your body will adjust and you will be able to pump what your baby needs. If you do struggle with milk production, you can always supplement or use lactation vitamins.
three. introduce the bottle a few weeks before maternity leave ends.
The last thing a Mom returning to work wants to do is to put their baby in someone else’s care without first introducing a bottle. If you’re exclusively breastfeeding, wait until the doctor or a lactation consultant gives you the green light for a bottle. There can be nipple confusion for a baby if you go from breast to bottle too quickly. It also helps to have someone other than you give your baby a bottle filled with breastmilk.
I know from experience that both of my daughters sensed when I was holding the baby bottle versus someone else. My daughters did not like to eat from the bottle if I was holding it because they preferred my breast. It is helpful to ensure your baby will take a bottle from anymore before going back to work.
four. choose the right bottle for your baby.
There is no ONE right bottle for a baby and you may have to try a few before you find the bottle your baby likes. Here are some great bottles for breastfed babies.
five. encourage Dad to help.
It is so important for Dad to help feed his new baby so that he can build up a relationship with the little one too. Make sure he practices PACED bottle feeding.
six. set a pumping-at-work schedule similar to your baby’s eating schedule.
When you go back to work it is so important that you are pumping at the same time, or around the same time, as your baby will be eating. A Mom’s body wants to be making as much milk as baby needs. If your baby eats every 3-4 hours, Mom should be pumping every 3-4 hours. Make sure you are aware of your baby’s eating schedule before your maternity leave ends.