It’s a big question for a lot of new mommies, can I go back to work and still breastfeed my child? The resounding answer is happily ‘yes’, you will just need a little preparation to make it a successful transition.
You will need to invest in a good breast pump and a double pump will be best. If your office has a nursery, you will be able to visit your baby during the day and breastfeed your child as you normally would. If your office doesn’t have a nursery on site, but perhaps should, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org we will consult with your company to assess their staff childcare and emergency childcare needs, provide leave planning consultations, holiday care planning and support, as well as consultation and staff in setting up a work based play group or nursery.
If the facility is unavailable and you cannot visit your baby during the day, you will need to express at the same times you would usually feed your baby in order to keep up your milk production. You can also opt for fixed feeding, giving formula during the day and breast feeding when with your child but it is not recommended as not feeding will lower milk production and you may find yourself with engorged breasts, blocked ducts and mastitis. It will take a few days once you return to work for your infant to get used to drinking your breast milk from a bottle, so you may like to start a few days before you return in order to ensure your baby is happy and that the bottle teat is comfortable for them.
Prior to returning to work, let you employer know in writing if you would like to breastfeed when you return to work so that a risk assessment can be carried out and assessment can be made to ensure the workplace is safe for a breastfeeding mother.
Breast milk can be safely used within two days if it is stored in the refrigerator. You can also freeze breast milk for up to 6 months. If you do freeze your milk, remember never to thaw it or defrost it in the microwave. Doing so will destroy its immune boosting qualities. Rather thaw it in the refrigerator or in a bowl of warm water.
For employers a breastfeeding mom is good news. Mom’s who are supported in breastfeeding are shown to return to work earlier, take less time off, and as research shows, exclusively breastfed infants are less likely to be ill than babies who are fed on formula.
Written by: Bianca Steyn
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