Can I Breastfeed During The Day And Formula At Night Breastfeeding and Work

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Breastfeeding and Work

Continue to breastfeed after returning to work – stay informed to produce more breast milk for your little one. Many breastfeeding mothers continue to breastfeed after returning to work. As a breastfeeding mother, you will undoubtedly face many challenges both at work and breastfeeding and you will be exhausted, but with proper planning and adaptation, not all difficulties will prevent you from breastfeeding.

Difficulty breastfeeding after returning to work

1. You may have thousands of questions and concerns about how to continue breastfeeding and whether you should face a low milk supply if you are not fully breastfeeding like you used to. Your first week back at work is always overwhelming and tiring.

2. You may worry about whether there would be a suitable place for pumping breast milk. Your employer may not provide breastfeeding mothers with a place to pump and store breast milk at all.

3. Your work schedule may not allow you to pump regularly. You may not be able to follow your planned pumping schedule due to some ad hoc meetings or frequent travel due to the nature of the job.

4. You may have questions about how to transition your baby from full to partial breastfeeding.

5. Your life becomes much more busy with a busy schedule of just pumping breast milk, working and doing housework at the same time after you get home. You feel extremely exhausted.

6. You feel uncomfortable about possible criticism or comments from colleagues about your pump, frequent breaks from pumping milk and the store of milk in the company refrigerator.

How to overcome difficulties

Below are suggestions and tips to help you overcome the above difficulties so that you can continue to enjoy the best moments with your little one while breastfeeding. For working moms, you’ll find tips on how to consistently produce more breast milk to ensure the best nutrition for your baby.

1. Convince and commit

You need to convince yourself and those around you of the benefits of continuing to breastfeed even after you return to your regular job. You can get support from your partner, older child, other family members, close friends and breastfeeding colleagues. Talk to them and convince them about the benefits and reasons for breastfeeding. Commit and enjoy the beautiful bond with your child.

2. Plan and be prepared

a. Talk and discuss your breastfeeding and pumping needs with your employer before you go on maternity leave so you know how to prepare before you return to work. You could outline the reasons and benefits of breastfeeding. At the same time, let the employer know that you need a hygienic and private place to pump milk. You mentioned the basic amenities you need, like a small room with a lock, a table and chair, a sink for washing up, and a refrigerator. Try to work something out with your employer before going on maternity leave.

b. Before returning to work, make a checklist of things to bring to work and have these things ready at night for the next morning. Things you might want to add to your checklist like a breast pump, battery (if using a battery-powered breast pump), breast milk storage containers, ice box (if your workplace doesn’t have a fridge), nursing pads (in case of leaks), baby wipes, and bottles to bring to the babysitter. Get everything ready to go the next morning.

c. Make a pumping schedule of how many pumping breaks you need during work. To maintain your milk supply, you may want to breastfeed early in the morning when you wake up and try to pump before leaving home for work. During work, try to use at least one morning, one lunch and one afternoon pump. If you want to get more breast milk, you can pump it more often, but a break in pumping will not affect your work; therefore proper planning is necessary. If you can’t pump regularly on your pumping schedule, skipping a session or two won’t make much of a difference. However, you should not skip too many pumping sessions as this will lead to low milk supply. Maximize the frequency of breastfeeding as much as possible. Always check with your baby care provider/sitter to feed your baby enough to last him until the evening feeding after he gets home. When you get home, don’t rush to prepare dinner. You can have a simple snack before feeding your baby. Enjoy your time together. You could breastfeed 2 more rounds at night before declaring a rest day.

d. Practice using your breast pump for at least 1 week before returning to work. Get used to your breast pump. There are 4 types of breast pumps on the market – desktop breast pump, hand-powered manual breast pump, battery-powered/electric hand-held breast pumps, and foot-powered breast pumps. So choose the type of breast pump that suits you best because it works very closely with you every day. It is also recommended to use a double breast pump, which would shorten the pumping time, especially during working hours.

e. Practice bottle feeding with your baby because if you send your baby to a babysitter/nanny, your baby will have to take milk from a bottle and not from your breast. Therefore, 1 week before returning to work, the baby could be started with a bottle, of course with breast milk. Failure to start your baby with a bottle early can cause your baby to refuse to suckle from your breast. This is because the baby usually prefers a continuous and smooth flow of milk when using a bottle.

f. Prepare work clothes that are comfortable for you to pump breast milk. A two-piece outfit makes it easier for your baby to start breastfeeding if you have to breastfeed before leaving work or feed on-site at a daycare provider. A loose blouse with prints can hide any leaks that may occur during work.

3. Work options

a. You can choose a babysitter or daycare provider that is close to where you work; therefore, you could continue to breastfeed regularly.

b. Working part-time is another good option so you can spend more time with your baby and continue breastfeeding. You can work part-time while your child is young and return to full-time work as the child grows older.

c. Some jobs may allow you to take your baby with you to work, such as the family business or the store. So you can carry your baby in a sling. This option allows you to breastfeed while working.

d. Working from home has become more and more popular recently and can also be a great way for nursing mothers to continue breastfeeding while reducing the financial burden on the family. Mother and baby would have a lot of time together.

e. Mothers who cannot accept the above option could express breast milk during working hours and continue breastfeeding after work or on days off.

f. The last option is to breastfeed while you are with your baby and give formula while you work.

4. Maximize the frequency of breastfeeding and pumping

To maintain your milk supply/prevent low milk supply, you need to pump regularly. Therefore, breastfeed your baby full-time when you are not working. Don’t let your baby forget your breast. Many breastfeeding mothers are able to preserve enough breast milk for their baby if possible and continue pumping at the same time.

5. Take care of yourself

You need to take good care of yourself, eat a healthy and balanced diet (see Diet for breastfeeding mothers), get enough rest to ensure the quality of breast milk. Try to simplify your life, for example, keep a simple hairstyle that does not take much time in the morning before going to work. You can live without doing daily chores, just do your daily laundry, prepare a simple dinner and wash the dishes.

Breastfeeding mothers are always juggling work and breastfeeding. It’s not easy, but it’s also not as hard as you might think. Commitment and persistence are the most important factors here. Maintain your milk supply with continuous breastfeeding and pumping. Congratulations to all working mothers. Your best effort is the best gift for your child!

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