Once you return to work, you can continue to breast feed. If you live close to work or have an on site daycare, you may be able to breast feed during your breaks. If that isn't possible, you have 2 choices:
- Keep your milk supply by using a high quality automatic electric breast pump to express milk during the day. Save your milk that you collect for your baby sitter.
- If you don't want to or can't pump at work, you can gradually replace daytime feedings with formula while your at home but still continue to nurse at night and in the morning. The milk your body produces may not be enough to keep your baby satisfied, even if you only need enough for 2 feedings.
Advantages of pumping at work
Pumping at work will help stimulate your production of milk, so you'll have plenty available when it comes time to feed. You can also collect the milk you pump, so your baby will have the health and nutritional benefits of breast milk even when you aren't there. To make things better, pumping can be an ideal way to feel a connection to your baby during the work day.
Although it can seem like a hassle, many mothers find that the benefits of breast pumping far out-weight the inconvenience.
To manage pumping at work, you'll need to have the following:
- Breast pump, preferably a fully automatic electric pump with a double collection kit so you can pump both breasts simultaneously.
- Bottles or bags for collecting and storing the milk.
- Access to a refrigerator or cooler to keep the milk cold until you return home.
- Breast pads to help protect your clothes if you start to leak.
Make sure that you get used to pumping before you return to work, so you'll know what to expect and how it feels. You'll be much more confident with pumping at work if you already know that you can produce enough milk.
At work, you'll want to have somewhere that's away from everyone else when you pump, such as an empty office or empty room. This way, you'll be away from everyone else and you can have the quiet tranquility you need to pump. In most offices, this shouldn't be a problem.
For the time frame, you'll want to pump every 2 - 3 hours if possible. If you can't, every 4 hours or so will have to suffice. After you have finished pumping, store the milk in the bags or bottles, clean yourself up, then go back to work. When you return home, you can feed the milk to your growing baby.