One of the hardest things for a mother to do is to return to work after childbirth. It is not just the pain of leaving the baby behind, but also, the issue of feeding the baby timely, that makes joining back difficult. There are women who may have return to work within two weeks of delivery. However, the recommended time is to wait for a minimum of 6 to 12 weeks after delivery.
Once you have established a schedule with your little one, getting back to work is a lot easier. However, before you do so, you need to figure out how to breastfeed after joining work and organize the associated activities.
Here are some tips that will help you manage work and breastfeeding your baby to ensure a seamless transition:
These are few things that you can do during your maternity leave to ensure that your baby is feeding well and you are able to produce enough breast milk by the time you get back to work:
Many moms find it difficult to stay committed to breastfeeding with long pumping sessions; embarrassing leaks and off-the-shelf availability of formula milk. However, breastfeeding helps you connect with your baby better and produce as much milk as is needed.
Spend as much time breastfeeding your baby as possible. Do not worry about what is going to happen after you return to work. Just focus on strengthening your bond with your baby while you are at home. This will aid breastfeeding in the long run.
If it is possible, extend your leave or choose to work part-time for a while.
Start breastfeeding early and do it as often as you can when you are with your baby to produce more milk. Form a routine over time so that it is easier to manage when you get back to work.
Here are some options that you can explore once you are back to work after childbirth.
To start with, you can work from home if it is an option. This is becoming very popular in workplaces now a days. Alternatively, you can opt to work from home on some weekdays and work full time on others. This allows you to focus on your work and even give your baby the time that he needs.
About two weeks before getting back to work, make sure that you learn to pump milk efficiently. The best time for pumping is in the morning as the supply is highest at that time. You can even pump and freeze milk to make a stock before you get back to work.
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For the first three weeks, refrain from using the bottle to avoid a condition called nipple confusion. After that, you can get a bottle with a very soft teat (nipple) to slowly introduce it to your baby. Use it when the baby is hungry so that he will take the bottle easily.
You can negotiate with your workplace to allow you some time to visit your baby during the day or to even take some time to pump milk during work hours.
Some offices have a crèche or an infant care center that will allow you to take your baby to work. If you are running your own business, it is an option you can explore. If your office does not have onsite daycare, feel free to ask for it. If there are other new mums with you, ask if they would like to team up and make it work for all.
A simple option is to use a sling-carrier to take your baby with you to meetings and even to work when you may have to work longer hours. Try to do this often as it is emotionally beneficial for the mother and the baby.
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This may require you to go back and forth to breastfeed your baby. However, it is a great way to spend maximum time with your baby and then get back to work with complete focus.
You have the option of training a babysitter to make up for your absence. You can even pump and freeze your breast milk and instruct the babysitter to handle the expressed milk and give it to your baby in the correct manner. Teach them how to thaw the milk and bring it to the right temperature before feeding the baby.
Invest in some good feeding capes, maternity bras, and breastfeeding friendly office wears, tops, and dresses. You will also need a spacious handbag to carry a breast pump along with your laptop and office essentials.
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A good routine is key to balancing and breastfeeding easily. Here is a simple schedule that you can follow:
When you are juggling work and breastfeeding, make sure that you enjoy the time that you have to actually breastfeed the baby. You can also work on getting support from colleagues at work or talk to other lactating mothers to get the assurance that you need during this time.
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