How to Work in the Marketplace & Still Breastfeed Your Baby

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Once you return to work, you can continue to breastfeed

If you live close to work or have an on site daycare, you may be able to breastfeed during your breaks.  If that isn’t possible, you have 2 choices:

1.  Keep your milk supply by using a high quality automatic electric breast pump to express milk during the day.  Save your milk that you collect for your baby sitter.

2.  If you can’t pump at work, you can gradually replace daytime feedings with formula but still continue to nurse at night and in the morning. The formula that I chose to use for LJ was the organic baby formula by “Earth’s Best”.  I did this, not because I couldn’t pump at work– actually my bosses encouraged me to pump at work, and I love them for that!!– but I chose to use the Earth’s Best formula as a personal preference when LJ would spend the weekend with my parents, and they had no breast milk in their freezer.

Advantages of pumping at work

Pumping at work will help stimulate your production of milk, so you’ll have plenty available when it comes time to feed.  You can also collect the milk you pump, so your baby will have the health and nutritional benefits of breast milk even when you aren’t there.  To make things better, pumping can be an ideal way to feel a connection to your baby during the work day.

Although it can seem like a hassle, many mothers find that the benefits of breast pumping far outweight the inconvenience.

To manage pumping at work, you’ll need to have the following:

1.  Breast pump, preferably a fully automatic electric pump with a double collection kit so you can pump both breasts simultaneously.  I personally chose to use the Madela Double Electric Pump.  I actually used that particular pump for both of my children; so I definitely got my monies worth.

2.  Bottles or bags for collecting and storing the milk.  I used the breastmilk storage bags by Madela for freezing and storing my milk.

3.  Access to a refrigerator or cooler to keep the milk cold until you return home.

4.  Breast pads to help protect your clothes if you start to leak.

Make sure that you get used to pumping before you return to work, so you’ll know what to expect and how it feels.  You’ll be much more confident with pumping at work if you already know that you can produce enough milk.

At work, you’ll want to have somewhere that’s away from everyone else when you pump, such as an empty office or empty room.  This way, you’ll be away from everyone else and you can have the quiet tranquility you need to pump.  In most offices, this shouldn’t be a problem.  At my job I used one of the assessment rooms or adjustment room #6 because each one of these rooms had a door that would lock.

For the time frame, you’ll want to pump every 2 – 3 hours if possible.  If you can’t, every 4 hours or so will have to suffice.  After you have finished pumping, store the milk in the bags or bottles, clean yourself up, then go back to work.  When you return home, you can feed the milk to your growing baby.

I hope this helps bring some clarity on how working in corporate does not have to hinder the breastfeeding relationship and bond that you have built with your baby.  Feel free to ask any questions if you a few come to your mind!!

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