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The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends feeding breast milk as your baby’s only food for the first 6 months of life. To return to work before that, especially soon after birth, involves good planning! Put your plans in place before you birth baby by talking it through with co-workers and friends, especially those who have successfully transitioned back to work and continued breastfeeding. Ask your nurses for the names and numbers of local lactation support groups and seek advice, support and information from these experts and other nursing moms.
During this time, you’ll need to build a safe and stored supply of breast milk before your return. If you haven’t already, invest in a quality breast pump (these can be purchased or rented and you may quality for a free pump under your health plan), practice using it and storing milk now. As soon as breastfeeding is going well, help your baby adjust to drinking breast milk from a bottle so that he or she will be used to both the breast and bottle, as well as having others feed him or her.
Learn where you will have a safe and private place to pump your milk at work, as well as a place to refrigerate your milk until you can carry it home. Discuss how to safely warm stored (frozen versus refrigerated) breast milk for your baby with your daycare provider or babysitters. Your partner can be a big help in introducing and managing these transitions as you return to work. Many moms who work and who continue to breastfeed ensure they have at least several nursing sessions a day with baby when home, such as first thing in the morning, after work and before bed, to name a few.Ask Our Nurses