Breastfeeding is the very first thing that creates a link between a mother and a child. When a baby doesn’t even recognize her mother, it is breastfeeding that brings her closer to the mother. This is a widely known fact that for first six months, exclusive breastfeed is very much required for a baby. It gives her required immunity and antibodies.And it is advised to continue breastfeeding till the mother’s body is able to lactate and provide sufficient milk to the baby. This article talks about Breastfeeding and going back to work.
Mothers, who stay at home, find it convenient to provide as much feed as they can produce for the betterment of the growing baby. However, for working ladies, a problem comes and it’s very common these days. They have to decide whether to resume office or not because their babies are still depended solely on breastfeed. This is a sad reality for nursing mothers that, many times, they have to take a hard step with giving babies top feed because they are not able to breastfeed their babies with resuming their work.
In today’s time, it is becoming a nightmare to survive on the salary of single earning person and that’s why more and more ladies are working shoulder to shoulder with their husband. Things look okay until they become a mother and after that breastfeeding becomes the very first challenge to continue. A few of them start weaning their babies so that in their absence, babies can feel satisfied. As the many advantages of breastfeeding become more obvious, a good number of mothers still continue to breastfeed their babies after they re-enter the workforce.
I am also a working mother and I resumed my office when my boy was 2.5 months old. I am into IT private sector and extension of maternity leaves was not possible so I had to join my work back. My boy was still on milk and starting semi-solids/pureed food was still far away time. Howbeit, I managed to continue my work along with nurturing my tiny baby. Challenges were but with few adjustments, things got better.
Based on my own experience, here are some tips that I want to give to mothers who are facing the dilemma of whether to continue to breastfeed after joining work or not.
Breastfeeding and going back to work
- First of all, if your baby is an exclusively breastfed baby (not yet eating semisolid/solid foods), and your leaves are coming to end, then look for leaves extension or work from home facility, if possible. This will give you some more time to continue feeding your baby.
- Now, if extension and WFH both are not possible, invest in a very good quality breast pump. This may feel uncomfortable initially but breast pump can really help here.
- Talk to mothers who have pumped or are pumping feed for their babies. They can share their experiences and how you should proceed.
- Pumps come in two varieties; manual and electric. Both has their pros and cons. So, before buying any of them, you should read and research about them. The manual pump could be easy to use but if you are pumping milk 10 times in a day, it’s tedious to manual pump your breasts.
- Storing expressed milk is also an important factor. Pumped milk can be refrigerated and it can be there for eight days. But it’s good to give expressed milk as early as possible to the bay. You can pump and store a sufficient amount of feed in the morning (or a night before) and when you are in office, your caregiver can give this feed to the baby.
- If you are returning to work with an exclusively breastfed baby (not yet eating semisolid/solid foods), pumping during the day can be essential. It will need pumping milk being in office. Now here comes the tricky part. Most of the offices are not yet designed so that a mother can work along with pumping milk. But you need to find a solution for this problem with the help of your office mates and boss.
- Talk to your office friends and boss about taking breaks so that you can express milk and you should also have a place to store that in your office. Your boss might help you to shift your seat at a corner so that you can use your breast pump sitting at your seat only. If this is done, wear clothes in such a way that it could hide your working
- First few days, use the breast pump being home and try to simulate your office timings. For example; expressing milk early morning and checking how much amount baby takes during the day time. This will give you an idea about the quantity that is needed to keep the baby full.
- And if at all breast pump doesn’t work for you (like in my case), see if you have any nearest good day care for infants. Some office also provides crèche facility so get your baby enroll there. This way you will be able to feed your baby in every two hours without pumping and storing.
- Above all remember that breastfeeding is so much more than a source of nourishment for most babies. Even if you find you need to give formula during the day, continue breastfeeding during the times you and your baby are together. This may still be very important to your child as she will feel comforted and connected with.
Happy Parenting with Budding Star
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