Breastfeeding While Working or Studying
Presented by La Leche League
Breastfeeding is the best form of feeding for an infant. It promotes lifelong health for the baby through decreased illness, lower rates of childhood obesity and diabetes and maternal child bonding. The benefits of breastfeeding for mother and child are endless.
Factors that get in the way of breastfeeding:
- Quick return to work
- Early introduction of the bottle
- Lack of support from employers
- Lack of support from family members (spouse, parent etc)
Ways to prolong breastfeeding:
- Stay at home with baby as long as possible. Moms who stay at home longer (16 weeks is ideal) have babies who nurse for longer once they return to work.
- Return to work part time at first
- Pump regularly while at work (every 3 hours is ideal)
- Delay bottle introduction until baby is 1 month old
- Look for child care close to work so you can visit and nurse instead of pump
Possible alternatives to returning to work full time:
- Work from home
- Job Sharing
- Working a part-time schedule or split schedule
- Bring baby to work
Try to spend the first 30 minutes you're home or rejoined with your baby nursing and bonding. If you also have older children, invite them to bring a book over for some snuggling as well.
Also, keep an eye on "role-overload" (mom, employee, spouse, troupe leader...) and find a way to nurture yourself. And be openminded about life-style changes, not everything can stay the way it was before baby.