Working and Breastfeeding
Going back to work and breastfeeding your baby may seem impossible. However, many moms are able to successfully breastfeed and pump while at work to provide breast milk for their baby when they are apart. Planning and educating yourself are the keys to your success.
1. Identify Your Breastfeeding Goals. Keep in mind who will be your baby’s caregiver when you are apart.
- Do you want to breastfeed or pump exclusively?
- Do you want to breastfeed when you are with your baby, and pump when you are away?
- Do you want to leave formula and pumped milk for missed feedings?
- Do you want to leave formula for missed feedings and breastfeed when your together?
2. Learn How to Pump and Store Milk Properly.
- If you are pumping at work, allow about 20 minutes to complete the process. Ten to fifteen minutes to pump and 5 minutes to wash and rinse your pump parts.
- To decrease cleaning time, we recommend purchasing extra pump parts.
- The number of times you pump at work depends on the length of time you will be away from your baby. Divide the number of hours you are away (including travel time) by three (ex: if you are away a total of 9 hours you will pump 3 times at work).
- If your milk is stored in a room that’s between 66-72° F (19-22°C), it can stay uncooled for 6-10 hours, to cool your milk use an insulated pump cooler case, cooler bag, or refrigerator. Learn more about storing breast milk.
3. Maintain your milk production levels while working
- Drained breasts produce milk faster, fuller breast produce milk more slowly. Each time your breasts feel heavy and full, you are slowing your average milk production.
- Breastfeed or pump frequently to maintain your milk supply. Your baby’s needs during the first 6 months won’t vary much.
- Pump as often as you can at work. This will help maintain your production of milk and your supply.
- You won’t need to breast pump forever, many mothers find that they can decrease the number of times they pump or stop pumping all together at work when their baby is between 9 and 12 months old.
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