10 Tips On Going Back To Work While Breastfeeding

February 4, 2022

By: Jennifer Shaer, MD – Peconic Pediatrics (Riverhead & Southold, NY)

The working mother has a lot of responsibilities.  She is often expected to run the household, take care of the kids and succeed at the office.  She is expected to do all of this and make it look effortless.  Now, throw in a new baby, and a mother is expected to breastfeed while going back to work.  With the help of Long Island pediatricians, here are 10 tips to help ease the transition back to work for the breastfeeding mother.

  1. Set your goals:  Doing something for your baby while you are at work often helps you feel connected despite being separated.  As in everything you do, setting an intention will help you achieve success.  Speak to a Long Island pediatrics care provider for assistance.
  2. Plan in advance:  Think about your day at work.  When can you pump, where will you pump and where will you store your milk?  Speak with your employer in advance of your return and develop a plan. Many states have labor laws requiring employers to accommodate nursing mothers so they should be ready to help.  Don’t forget to plan your clothes.  You will need easy access for pumping at work.   
  3. Ease back into the workforce:  If at all possible, start back to work midweek. This way you will have a weekend home with your baby in just a few days.
  4. Take one day at a time:  You do not have to plan to pump milk for the next year.  Each day that you bring home a bottle of pumped milk is a gift for your baby.
  5. Take time for yourself:  As difficult as this seems, it is critically important for your mental health.  A happy woman makes for a better mother for her baby.  Figure out what works for you and make it happen.  Less stress is healthy for you, your baby, your family, and your job.  It also helps protect your milk supply.
  6. Get creative:  While most companies provide formal pump breaks for nursing mothers, sometimes work does not need to stop while you are pumping.  With hands-free breast pumps, many women can pump while working at their desks or even pump while commuting to and from the office.  
  7. Find breastfeeding-friendly childcare:  In general, it is best to surround yourself with people who are supportive of your breastfeeding goals, and that includes your daycare or babysitter.  But stay focused on your own goals and don’t be pressured by others’ advice.  
  8. Continue nursing when home:  Plan to nurse before work and when you get home. Tell the sitter when to expect you and not to give a bottle just before you arrive.  Nursing when you are home and on the weekends helps maintain supply and helps you feel close to your baby.
  9. Be flexible:  If despite your best efforts you do not maintain a full milk supply, do not feel guilty.  There are things you can do to increase your supply or you can readjust your goals.  If you cannot pump enough breast milk or you decide pumping at work is too stressful, then your baby can have formula.  But if your supply is not complete, it does not mean you have to quit breastfeeding completely.  Partial breast milk is still a huge benefit.  Adjust your plan as you go choosing what’s best for you and your baby.  Stay positive and guilt-free!  
  10. Enjoy:  Have fun, enjoy your baby and be proud of yourself!  

If you would like help creating a back-to-work pumping plan, schedule a visit with Allied Breastfeeding Medicine.

Allied Physicians Group is a partnership of more than 150 dedicated, caring physicians and 350 highly trained support staff. Allied serves over 180,000 patients with offices throughout Greater New York CityLong Island, the Hudson Valley, and beyond. Founded in 2006, Allied Physicians Group is a recognized leader in increasing healthcare efficiencies and patient satisfaction, emphasizing support, innovation, and collaboration. If you are looking for a Pediatrician near you click here or for more information please visit https://alliedphysiciansgroup.com/.