Breastfeeding is a Personal Choice
The choice of breastfeeding your baby or not is all up to you and it is your decision. Breast milk is very beneficial for your baby, because there is no other food that matches the health benefits that your own breast milk can’t give. This can be hard to continue doing for working mothers, but here are some good tips on how you can still give your baby the nutrition it needs while working during the day.
Full Time Nursing
This is where you have the ability to breastfeed your baby throughout the workday or you are able to produce enough milk for your baby to have when he/she is away from you. To produce this much, you will need to express milk at least 3-4 hours to have enough to meet your baby’s needs while separated from you. Formula can be used when needed if supply is low.
Around fourteen days before returning to work, we would recommend you start practicing pumping or expressing milk by hand. Pumping in the morning at least an hour after nursing your baby, is the time that most women find they have more success at that time of day. Your milk can be stored in the refrigerator in any clean container for up to five days. After the five days, then the milk must be store in the freezer. When you are at work, you will want to pump every 2-4 hours. Doesn’t have to be at the same time every day, but often enough to prevent engorgement.
Part Time Nursing
If you are only planning to be breastfeeding part time, then you will not have enough supply to give your baby throughout the day. This means you will have to supplement with formula when you and your baby are separated, which will probably be what you use the most.
This option is best when babies are older and mothers don’t work long days. If your baby is still only 3-4 months old, then you risk losing even more of your supply if you can’t pump or breastfeed at all during the day. Another option that you could do would be pumping a little bit at work until your baby is 3-4 months and then discontinuing and only using formula while you are work.
Seven to fourteen days before you go back to work, cut back on one or two of your feedings that you will be missing when you are at work. Instead practice using a bottle of milk or formula at those times to help the baby get used to it. If your breasts start to hurt, place ice on your chest or pump just enough for comfort. You will receive less stimulation this way, so your milk supply should decrease.