source : http://www.breastfeedingwa.org/
Working & Breastfeeding: It’s Worth it!
“Working & Breastfeeding: It’s Worth it!” is a free packet of information is designed to help mothers who return to work. In addition to health benefits of breastfeeding, these handouts contain suggestions for finding supportive daycare, tips for transitioning back to work, support services, and information for employers about why and how employers can support their breastfeeding employees.
Breastmilk is the perfect food for your baby and has many special qualities that cannot be reproduced in formula. You can continue to give your baby the benefits of breastfeeding even if you have to return to work. Remember—some breastmilk is better than no breastmilk!
During your pregnancy, develop a plan with your employer that allows you some flexibility in your work routine so that you can express your breastmilk. Help your employer to understand the benefits of supporting breastfeeding employees, such as:
- Improved productivity
- Improved employee morale
- Decreased health care costs
- Fewer absences
To assist you with this, WithinReach and the Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington State have developed a “Working & Breastfeeding” packet. To obtain a free copy, please call 1-800-322-2588 or click here to download from this website. In addition, these Articles and Resources for Employers and Employees may be of help.
Things that will help you:
- A breastpump (electric or manual)
- A clean, private place to pump
- Refrigeration (community refrigerator, cooler with ice, etc.)
- Containers for expressed milk (plastic)
- Electrical outlet (if using an electric pump)
Breastmilk can be expressed by hand or with the use of a breastpump. There are many pumps to choose from. You may need to try several before you find the right one for you. Pumping and hand expression improve with practice. It is best to introduce a bottle to your baby after 4 to 6 weeks of breastfeeding and at least 2 weeks before you return to work. If it is necessary for you to return to work before this time, you may need to begin introducing a bottle while you are still establishing your milk supply. Two weeks before you return to work, begin expressing your breastmilk a least once a day and save it for your child care provider to give to your baby. Click here for information on storage of breastmilk.
When you are at home, breastfeed only. Consider providing extra nursing time at night, days off, weekends and before or after work. This will help you keep your milk supply up. If your supply is low, it helps to nurse more frequently when you are at home.
Tips for Your Transition Back to Work
- Discuss with your employer your plan for continuing to breastfeed. A schedule that allows you time to express your milk and a private, clean and comfortable place to do it is really all that is necessary.
- Explore the possibility of a gradual return to work (beginning mid-week, starting back part-time or job-sharing).
- Make a trial run at work a few days before you actually return. Make sure you have everything you need.
- Try to arrange child care near your place of work. Find someone that you can trust and that is supportive of breastfeeding.
- Allow at least 2 weeks to prepare for the time when you will be away from your baby. Express at least once a day and save your breastmilk for your child care provider to give to your baby.
- Nurse your baby before you leave for work and as soon as you can when you arrive home.
- Make it clear that you do not want your care provider to feed your child right before you pick her up or before you arrive home.
- Make yourself comfortable before you start expressing your milk. Try to use some relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or thinking about your baby.
- Wash your hands before expressing your milk.
- Bring an insulated container to transport to your breastmilk. Clean your breastpump and collection bottles after each use.
- When at home, breastfeed only. Avoid bottles and formula. Consider providing extra nursing time to help you keep a good milk supply.
- Get plenty of rest and eat well. Make sure you get enough to drink. Your diet should be well-balanced and include lots of fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates and fluids.
- Consider sleeping with your baby. This helps both you and your baby get more rest and makes nighttime nursing easier.
- Join a support group, or form your own.
- Remember that some breastmilk is better than no breastmilk!
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