If your maternity leave is ending, you may be wondering how to continue breastfeeding when you are back at work. Geraldine Miskin is a leading independent breastfeeding specialist, with her own private practice in Twickenham called The Let’s Breastfeed Practice. Geraldine’s aim is to empower mums with practical solutions. Here she gives her tips for going back to work with a spring in your step, whilst leaving a contented little one at home.
Going back to work often throws up a myriad of emotions and challenges on a practical level if you are still breastfeeding your baby. Knowing how to manage your milk supply so that you don’t develop mastitis or how to avoid the odd dash to the ladies to mop up leakage should make going back to work a little easier.
- Decide how you would like to continue feeding your baby when you go back to work. Would you like to drop the day time feeds and keep the first and last feed of the day? Would you like to express your milk and continue to offer your baby breast milk only? Whatever you decide, it is a good idea to speak to a Breastfeeding Specialist about your decision 6-8 weeks before your start date, as you will need some preparation time to refine your ideal feeding structure and avoid developing mastitis.
- Consider working part time to start with, especially working on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This way mums have a good long weekend to re-establish breastfeeding or expressing sessions if they feel that their milk is depleting.
- Start building up a milk bank for when you are stuck in traffic and can’t get back in time to feed baby. Most mums find that expressing in the morning after they have rested more efficient. Other mums prefer to express in the evening once baby has gone to bed and they have unwound from a stressful day.
- If you are able to express your milk during the day once back at work, get into an expressing routine as quickly as possible. By finding a relaxed time and place to express, you will encourage and stimulate a good flow. Keep your milk at the back of the fridge as the temperature is more regulated here and transport your milk home in a cooler bag with ice packs. Many mums find that having a pump at home and one at work easier than carrying one back and forth each day.
Returning to work can be exciting and rewarding, once you know what you are doing and feel comfortable with it, and knowing that you are still providing invaluable immune boosting feeds for your little one makes it even more enjoyable.
Geraldine has written The Beginners Guide to Breastfeeding, an e-book which is available to buy for £27.00. She has also written e-books on mastitis, sore nipples, low milk supply and expressing for £17.00. All can be purchased and downloaded from www.Letsbreastfeed.com.