Returning to work after your maternity leave, but still want to breastfeed your child? Here are some tips to help ease the transition.
Before Returning to Work
- Speak to your employer about your plans to continue breastfeeding, and inform them that you intend to express milk at your workplace.
- Find out what kind of breast pump is best for you by consulting a lactation consultant or healthcare provider.
- Practise pumping breast milk during the morning or when your breasts feel fuller. Remember that pumping takes practice. Don’t be frustrated if you only get a little the first few times. Babies are usually much better at removing milk.
- Store any milk you collect in small quantities (1 to 2 ounces). Babies may not take a large amount at one feeding, and your milk is too valuable to waste.
- Arrange to return to work mid week. The first days back are always overwhelming, so starting with a short week is a great idea.
- Prepare some extra blouses or cardigans that you can leave at your workplace, in case of leaks.
Preparing Your Baby
- About two weeks before going back to work, start teaching your baby to drink from a bottle when he or she is not hungry or upset.
- Ask someone else, like a caregiver or the baby’s dad, to offer the bottle.
- Don’t force your baby to accept the bottle. If baby refuses, take a break and try again later.
- Find a breastfeeding-friendly childcare provider. Let your family members/caregivers know how important it is that they support you in your decision to breastfeed.
- Express your milk every 2 to 3 hours.
- If you’re using a double electric pump that expresses from both breasts at the same time, it may take around 20 to 30 minutes each time.
- Be patient – you will get more efficient with practice.
- Use your regular breaks/lunchtime to express milk.
For more help on making breastfeeding work, head to www.mynutribaby.org.my.