Working during breastfeeding days
- By Dr. Shalini Kapoor
Going back to work after the birth of a child and that long post-delivery break, feels terrible. Moreover, when you happen to be a nursing mother, there are further complications and the challenges at work front too, can take a toll on you. So, should you start working while your baby is breast-feeding? Yes, if your work demands it and because there are ways you can do so, without compromising on the health and care of the baby.
How can you continue breastfeeding?
When you are not at home, your baby’s caregiver can feed your baby with the milk expressed through pumps. In this way, your baby will continue to get the breast milk even after you have started working. According to the U.S. Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, it is mandatory on the part of the employers to give breastfeeding moms reasonably timed breaks, so that they can pump the milk in a private place. Now, all offices might not offer this privilege, but if you talk with your employers and ask for flexibility in working hours for the few months, chances are, most of them will agree.
Benefits of pumping at work
The more your baby sucks milk, the more is the supply. If you stop expressing milk after going to work, the production of breast milk will decrease. However, if you continue pumping the milk at regular intervals during the day, the supply will keep on increasing and you will be able to produce enough breast milk to fulfill the growing needs of your baby, as it develops healthily. So you will not be compromising in any way on your little angel’s health and nutritional advantage. This way, you will feel connected to your baby while pumping and this will also help you to get over the guilt you feel for leaving your baby in the care of someone else.
Another advantage is that you will be saving a good amount of money on formula food, if you continue to breast feed your baby, almost all through the first six months and more. This will also ensure that your baby will be less susceptible to infections, than the formula feed babies, thereby reducing your worries and doctor bills.
Immediately after coming home, you may snuggle with your baby and start nursing. This way you can maintain the strong bond and nurture your baby, the way only you, a mother can.
To ensure that your baby will be waiting for you to nurse when you come home, tell your caregiver not to feed the baby at least an hour prior to your coming home. This will keep your baby ready and eager for nursing and you can have a warm reunion with your baby everyday and make up for staying out all day.
How can you successfully pump at work?
For pumping breast milk regularly at your workplace, you must buy or rent a fully automatic pump that works on electricity. Most of these pumps come with a double collection kit to enable pumping both the breasts simultaneously, thereby saving time at work.
Use bags or bottles for storing the milk. More often, the bottles are provided along with the pump.
You should have access to a small cooler or fridge where you can keep the milk, until you get back home. You may also buy a pump that comes with a cooler pack.
With good quality electric breast pumps that are available in the market today, you can easily express milk while you are working all through the day.
Try to pump at the same time every day, so that your body gets used to it and produces a good supply of milk.