There is no other form of nutrition that is healthier than breast milk for a newborn. But many women may find themselves faced with the dilemma of how to continue their breastfeeding journey when they return to work after maternity leave. Following some breastfeeding tips for working women can help them alleviate their woes.
The World Health Organization recommends that a newborn be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life, followed by continued breastfeeding and complementary feeding until age 2. Having 6 months of maternity leave does not mean that you will have to wean the baby from breast milk and introduce formula as soon as you arrive at work. Mothers can continue to breastfeed their young for as long as they wish.
Is breastfeeding still beneficial after 6 months?
Yes, it is advisable to continue breastfeeding even after 6 months if you can, due to the following benefits:
* Consumption of breast milk protects the baby from infections and diseases (diabetes, asthma, obesity, ear infections, etc.) and thus also reduces the cost of hospitalization.
* It provides the baby with exactly what he needs to grow and thrive. It evolves over time to follow baby’s changing needs, particularly by keeping him hydrated.
* Breast milk easily maintains the bond between mother and baby. It even helps mothers stay closely bonded with their babies even after returning to work.
* This helps mothers find a work-life balance and be at work instead of taking time off to care for a sick baby.
All mothers worry about their baby’s reaction to separation during work hours. This is why continued breastfeeding and pumping keeps their worries at bay and prevents depression.
Breastfeeding Tips for Working Women
“How do I breastfeed after returning to work? » “How can I facilitate my return to work after maternity leave? » If these questions have you biting your nails, here are some breastfeeding tips to make your return to work easier.
1. Consult an expert
It is important that in addition to prenatal counseling on breastfeeding, mothers consult a lactation consultant a few days before starting labor to understand how to begin introducing complementary foods and continue breastfeeding.
Select the topics that interest you and let us personalize your feed.
2. Check flexibility
Check your rejoining option and try to choose options like working from home if available, or see if you want to extend your maternity leave using other leaves.
3. Seek help
Ask caregivers or family support to focus on the baby. The support should feel trustworthy and familiar, as if your friends had given them a referral or requested their services. Make sure the healthcare provider supports your decision to continue breastfeeding and gives the baby the milk you expressed. Having a supportive care provider also builds your confidence and helps you maintain your milk supply. Additionally, many organizations offer daycare centers so you can also choose to take your baby and caregiver with you.
4. Invest in support tools
This is one of the modern breastfeeding tips for working women. Buy a good breast pump or rent one and express your milk before you leave for work, during work hours and at night before you sleep. Use the correct flange size and settings in the pump to avoid damage to breast tissue.
Read also : The Best Electric Breast Pumps for Super Moms on the Go
5. Learn to store breast milk
Expressed milk can be stored in milk storage bags or in sterilized steel or glass containers. Label the date. At a room temperature of 26 degrees Celsius, milk can be kept for 4 hours while in the refrigerator (4 degrees Celsius) it can be kept for up to 24 hours. If you freeze it at -18 degrees Celsius, it can be stored for up to 6 months.
6. Know how to use stored breast milk
Always use stored milk first and thaw it before using it. Use thawed milk within one hour of thawing and do not refreeze thawed milk. You can use this milk in various complementary food recipes for newborns.
7. Practice will help
Give it a try a week before you actually join the job. Before leaving for office, pump the milk to get a good amount in the breast pump, then breastfeed the baby, as he will get late milk and will be full for a long time.
8. Connect with other mothers
Join breastfeeding support groups and connect with other like-minded mothers to boost morale and have healthy discussions and exchanges of ideas.
9. Continue night feedings
Make sure to continue nighttime feedings even if you and baby are half asleep to continue bonding with your little one.
How to deal with breast leaks at work?
This can be disconcerting for many new mothers. But it’s not something we can’t handle. These tips will make your life easier if you’re worried about breast leaks at work:
* Inform your organization before joining you of the space requirements for expressing milk or breastfeeding your newborn.
* To treat leaky breasts, you can wear breast pads and change them frequently.
*Also wearing dark clothes and keeping an extra pair of shirt will help you deal with leaks.
With these breastfeeding tips for working women, it’s possible to beat the blues and return to work while continuing to feed your little one. It would be best to contact a breastfeeding expert to answer all your questions.