For working women in the 21st century, motherhood is a tricky world!
They not just balance their commitments for work, but also desire to
give their 100 percent to family. When it comes to their infant, they
want no compromise especially as far as breastfeeding is concerned.
With adequate preparation, determination and support from family and
employers, managing the dual role of working as well as a nursing
mother is possible. While full-time employment can impact our
breastfeeding-related decisions such as the duration to breastfeed,
and planning and sustaining the milk secretion, it typically shortens
breastfeeding duration and more than 80% women wean before the end of
the first month of resuming work.
It is always better for every lactating mother to seek counselling
with a lactation expert to prepare themselves to join work while also
learning the importance of continuing breastfeeding. Knowing the
correct methods of handling and storing human milk can also help, and
the right guidance can help mothers identify pitfalls associated with
maintaining breastmilk supply, and in finding a suitable breast pump.
New mothers need to remember that breast milk production is a “supply
and demand” process— the more the baby nurses, or you stimulate your
breasts with hand expression or pumping, the more milk you produce.
Each woman’s working schedule and situation will be different,
including time availability and accommodations for pumping and storage
of milk. Always remember, baby care is a full-time job and it is very
important that you choose to connect with a certified lactation
consultant who can guide you about milk storage, paced bottle feedings
and your baby’s individual feeding cues and needs.
You can even prepare yourself by talking with other mothers who have
successfully combined working and nursing.
Separation from your baby can be stressful but with good planning and
support it can make the transition as easy as possible.
1. Establish and maintain a good supply of breastmilk before
returning to work. It is important to set your goal and discuss all
kinds of support required with your family and at the workplace.
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2. Start Breastfeeding within the first hour of your delivery and
give unrestricted, continuous and exclusive breastfeed. The best way
to stimulate breast milk production is to let the baby suckle
3. Relax as much as possible and have confidence in yourself.
Stress, fatigue and lack of confidence will hinder breast milk
4. Before returning to work, learn to express breastmilk by hand
or by using a breast pump. Seek help from a lactation consultant.
5. Nurse your baby before leaving for work and as soon as you
return from work.
6. At work, nurse your breast milk during lunch breaks, tea
breaks or whenever your breasts are full. This helps to maintain
breastmilk supply and prevents engorgement.
7. Allow enough time for some night feeds before going to bed.
Night feeds can help you increase milk production and enable you to
maintain enough breastmilk supply.
8. Give unrestricted and demand feeds during weekends and off
days. This will help you maintain breast milk supply for the week