New moms face many challenges and decisions in the first few months. Breastfeeding is a decision many moms choose, but working and breastfeeding is often a challenge. Pumping in the supply closet, engorgement and leaking breasts are just a few trials a working mom might face. A commitment to breastfeeding and support from your partner increases your chances of nursing success as you reenter the work force.
Buy a Quality Pump
A breast pump allows you to collect your milk at work. This helps keep your supply up and gives you extra milk to store for use when you’re not with your baby. You’ll find breast pumps of varying cost and quality. A dual, electric breast pump makes the job faster and easier because you empty the breasts simultaneously. Manual pumps take more work, making the process longer. When you’re on a limited time frame in the office, a faster pump is key. Higher-quality pumps are also more efficient at expressing milk, meaning you’ll get more each time you pump.
Build Up Your Supply
Maternity leave gives you a chance to build up the supply of breast milk in the freezer. Pumping while you’re home with your baby seems like a lot of work, especially when you’re exhausted from lack of sleep. However, the surplus of milk early means you can likely avoid supplementing with formula when you go back to work. This also gives you a chance to practice with your breast pump before going back to work. Test the different settings to figure out how to get the most milk each time you pump.
Frequent nursing when you are with your baby increases your milk supply. Use your maternity leave as a time to establish your milk supply by nursing your baby on demand. Once you return to work, nurse your baby as often as possible. When you are together, avoid giving your baby a bottle. Instead, enjoy the time together by nursing. A regular nursing and pumping schedule can also help your supply because your body is prepared for those times.
Stress over breastfeeding can decrease your supply or interfere with letdown. Take a relaxed approach to nursing as a working mom. Formula supplementation is an option if you cannot pump enough breast milk to cover all of your hours apart from your baby. Taking care of yourself when you are at home also helps with breastfeeding and taking care of your baby.