Managing work and breastfeeding together is a challenge you might have to experience when you plan to join back work after childbirth. Maternity leave is never adequate for bringing up your baby properly. By the time you join the work, your baby still needs you.
However, many women combine and manage both the duties in an efficient manner. If you have a supportive work environment, feeding your child will not be a problem. Thus, if you are anxious about leaving your baby undernourished at home while you work, learn how to manage breastfeeding and work together.
Expressing Milk at Work
Before you plan to join the work, you should intimate your employer about your joining. In a formal application, you should explain the need for feeding your baby by expressing milk once or twice a day in a proper environment. Many organisations allow new moms to go ahead with basic nursing by providing a private space for expressing breast milk. If your employer refuses, it can be an instance of gender discrimination and you can raise your voice against it. At the same time, you may request your employer to shift your role or workplace if it involves stress, exposure to chemicals and unhygienic environment.
When granted time and space for expressing breast milk at work:
- Look for a private room with an active lock. It should not be a toilet.
- The room should ideally have a refrigerator where you can store breast-milk after expressing it.
- Check whether the room has a washing area too, where you can clean and sterilise the containers.
- Request for a time off for around fifteen minutes for expressing milk when required.
Benefits of Expressing Milk
- As mother’s milk is the best food for the baby for up to six months, expressing milk will allow you to feed the baby even when you are at work.
- Pumping milk regularly at work helps to keep the flow of milk regular as it may reduce otherwise.
- You don’t have to spend money on costly formula milk, when you are not around to feed your newborn.
Opt For a Mixed Feeding Option
Mixed feeding is when your newborn has formula milk while you are at work, and breast milk when you are with him. You can opt for mixed feeding in order to avoid the complications of feeding the baby at your workplace. The benefit of mixed feeding is that you can reduce the time of breastfeeding by providing your child with alternative formula feeding. However, continue with breastfeeding before leaving for office and when you come back from work. Remember to express milk during the day, even if you are giving formula to your baby, as it keeps the breast milk production up.
If you are a working mother, expressing and storing milk is an ideal option for you. If you do get a private place in your office devoid of any public movement, you can easily express and store the milk in a fridge for feeding your baby when you go home. Pick an alternative that suits you and is best for your baby’s health. Practice expressing milk a few days before joining work, so that you don’t find it awkward. Also, get your baby used to feeding from the bottle and let someone else do it. This way, the baby will get used to bottle feeding and will not look for you when he is hungry.