Breastfeeding, the natural act of nourishing a newborn, can be an exceptionally rewarding experience for new mothers. However, as maternity leave concludes and returning to work looms, the prospect can appear daunting. The task of balancing work commitments while maintaining a breastfeeding schedule can seem nearly impossible. Yet, with the right strategies, you can juggle both effectively. Drawing from the experience and knowledge of professionals at The Impeccable Nanny Agency, we provide a guide that simplifies this process and ensures that both mom and baby’s needs are met.
Understand Your Rights
Before delving into the best practices, it’s important to familiarize yourself with your rights as a breastfeeding mother. As per the Affordable Care Act in the U.S., most employers are required to provide time and a private space (that is not a bathroom) for breastfeeding mothers to pump milk. Therefore, don’t shy away from discussing your breastfeeding needs with your employer.
Developing a Pumping Schedule
Once you are back at work, developing a pumping schedule that aligns with your baby’s feeding routine will be crucial. Generally, the rule of thumb is to pump as often as your baby feeds. A newborn usually feeds every 2-3 hours, so try to mimic this schedule at work. Consistency will help maintain your milk supply and prevent uncomfortable engorgement.
- Privacy: Make sure you have a comfortable, private space for pumping. You should be able to relax and not worry about being disturbed.
- Pump parts: To save time, consider buying extra pump parts. This way, you don’t have to spend time cleaning parts at work; you can do it at home instead.
- Storage: Ensure you have an insulated bag with ice packs to store the expressed milk safely until you get home.
- Clothing: Dress in layers or wear clothes that provide easy access for pumping.
Communicate with Your Childcare Provider
If you are working with a nanny from The Impeccable Nanny Agency or another provider, clear and open communication is key. Let them know about your baby’s feeding schedule, the quantity of milk they usually consume, and any signs of hunger or fullness your baby displays. This will help maintain the baby’s routine and make the transition smoother for everyone involved.
Take Care of Yourself
Last but not least, take care of yourself. The stresses of work combined with the demands of a newborn can take a toll on your health. Stay hydrated, maintain a balanced diet, and take time for self-care. Remember, your health is paramount for your baby’s health too.
Returning to work while continuing to breastfeed may seem like an uphill task. However, with planning, communication, and some adjustments, it can be managed successfully. Remember, every mother’s journey is unique, so what works best for you may differ from others. Embrace your journey, seek support when needed, and, most importantly, be patient with yourself. You’re doing an incredible job!
We recommend consulting an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant for more info on Lactation. We partner with Catheen Walker. lactationconsultantathome.com/