What Does a New Mom Need to Know about Breastfeeding and Returning to Work?
Things you can do during your maternity leave to prepare:
- Breastfeed exclusively eight to 12 times per 24 hours.
- Practice expressing milk using a quality breast pump.
- Introduce a bottle to baby sometime after his or her first month of life.
- Begin storing milk in the freezer in 2-4 oz. quantities.
- Consider a gradual return to work. (Return to work on a Thursday to have a weekend to adjust or take off one day mid-week for a few weeks.)
- Review available options for onsite day care or bringing your infant to work.
- Consider appropriate places to express milk at work.
Pumping Routine Example
- Feed your baby at the breast before leaving for work.
- Pump at about the same time your baby would be breastfeeding.
- Pump both breasts at the same time for 10-15 minutes.
- Breastfeed your baby when you pick him up after work.
- Breastfeed more often in the evenings and weekends.
Returning to Work
- Remember that the first few days after you return to work may be hard.
- You and your baby need to develop a new routine.
- Give yourself time to adjust as your body and your baby respond to the change.
- You may have a decrease in your milk supply the first week you return due to the schedule change but with regular pumping it will return.