Breastfeeding: 4 Helpful Tips For Working Mums

Breastfeeding while working adds another dimension to the challenge of nursing. For the first few weeks, you are struggling to find a balance between having enough milk supply and focusing on doing your job effectively. Working mums share their tips….

1. Create a working plan with your boss

The U.S. Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), signed into law in 2010, requires employers to provide moms of babies younger than 12 months a reasonable break time for pumping and a private place to pump, other than a bathroom. That law has not been effected here in Nigeria. However, ensuring that your boss is aware of your plans and your plans on nursing your child, will help you have a freer mind to work and plan ahead of deadlines and schedules. You will need time during the day to pump frequently, to ensure that you have enough milk supply for your baby when you get back from work. Or, you should have pumped and stored enough bottles to feed your baby at night after work.

2. Invest in a good breast pump

Next step is to get a good-quality electric breast pump that empties both breasts at once. Sure, they can be expensive, but the time you save will be well worth it. You should also have a manual  but efficient pump at home so you don’t have to haul the machine around all the time. Some moms may opt to keep the heavy, motorized pump at work Monday through Friday, and back over the weekends. Learn how to use your pump before you return to work. Going back to work is overwhelming enough; you don’t want to spend your first day back at work trying to figure out how to operate your pump. About two weeks before you go back to work, practice using the pump and start storing your breast milk.

3. Stocking milk properly

Breast milk can be refrigerated and used within 48 to 72 hours. When pumping milk for your caregiver to feed your baby, your first choice should be to store your milk in a refrigerator, and have it fed to the baby within eight days. Note however, that frozen milk loses some of the protective enzymes and antibodies present in fresh milk, but still has more antibodies and is healthier than infant formula. Building a freezer stash of milk can help. You may not be able to pump much on some days, and you can store milk in a freezer for between six and 12 months. Human milk can also safely be kept at room temperature (between 19 and 26 degrees Celsius) for six to eight hours. Breast milk smells as bad as any other type of milk when bad. So be sure to taste and smell any milk before giving your baby.

4. Get back to work and be patient with your body and boobs

It’s easier said than done in the end. But, you have to do it. Make sure your plan with your partner, daycare provider and boss are in place. Focus on doing your work as effectively as you can. Remember, your mind and body are still on a recovery journey from 9 months of incubating your baby and birth. Be patient with yourself and your body. Your boobs will adjust to the pumping and feeding in a few weeks. Dress in nursing friendly clothes, and always have enough nursing pads in case your boobs start to leak.

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