Breastfeeding is a special experience for mother and baby, and it is not uncommon for new moms to worry about their breast milk supply after they return to work. Luckily, there are several things that you can do to maintain your breast milk supply when you're away from your baby. Use the following tips to maintain your breastfeeding goals after you go back to work:
Make Pumping a Priority
As a working breastfeeding mother, it is essential to have a good breast pump. Ideally, you want an electric double breast pump so you can express milk from both breasts at the same time. Before you go out and buy a breast pump, contact your health insurance company — many plans provide a breast pump. You may also want to think about getting a pumping bra, which holds the breast pump cups in place for hands-free pumping.
While you are working, plan on pumping a few times during the day. Don't worry about the time it takes to pump — by federal law the majority of employers are required to provide a nursing mother with ample time to pump breast milk for a year following the birth of a child.
Breastfeed Immediately Before and After Work
An easy way to help maintain your milk supply is by nursing your baby immediately before and after work each day. Babies are very efficient at removing milk, so feeding before and after work will ensure that your breasts are empty, which can stimulate the production of more breast milk. Talk to your baby's caregiver and request that your baby is not fed too close to the time you will pick him or her up at the end of the day — you want your baby to be hungry and ready to nurse when the two of you are reunited.
Nurse During the Night
Most new moms dream of the day when baby sleeps through the night, but as a breastfeeding working mom, it is a good idea to continue to nurse during the night to help keep your supply up. As your baby gets older, he or she may not want to nurse as much in the evening, but while your baby is still waking at night it is best to nurse on demand — this can be very comforting to baby, and it can also prompt your body to continue to produce more breast milk around the clock.
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