There is no other form of nutrition that is healthier than breast milk for a newborn. But many women may face the dilemma of how to continue their breastfeeding journey after returning to work from maternity leave. Following some breastfeeding tips for laboring women can help them alleviate their problems.
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 the age of 2 years. Having a six-month maternity leave doesn’t mean you have to wean the baby off breast milk and start bottle-feeding as soon as you start working. Mothers can continue to breastfeed their little ones for as long as they wish.
Is breastfeeding still useful after six months?
Yes, it is advisable to continue breastfeeding even after six months, if possible, due to the following benefits:
* Breast milk consumption protects the baby from infections and diseases – diabetes, asthma, obesity, ear infections etc. and therefore also reduces the cost of hospitalization.
* It gives the baby exactly what it needs to grow and flourish. It changes over time to keep up with the baby’s changing needs, including keeping the baby hydrated.
* Breast milk easily maintains the bond between mother and baby. In fact, it helps mothers maintain a close bond with their babies even after they return to work.
* It helps mothers find a work-life balance and be at work instead of taking time off to care for a sick baby.
All mothers are concerned about how the baby will react to separation during working hours, so continuing to breastfeed and express milk keeps their worries at bay and prevents depression.
Breastfeeding tips for working women
“How do I breastfeed after returning to work?” “How can I make my work easier after my maternity leave?” If these questions have you biting your nails, here are some breastfeeding tips to ease your journey to work.
1. Consult an expert
It is important that, in addition to prenatal counseling about breastfeeding, mothers visit a lactation consultant a few days before starting work to understand how to introduce complementary foods and continue breastfeeding.
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2. Check for flexibility
Check whether it is feasible to return to work and try to opt for options such as working from home, if available, or see if you want to extend your maternity leave by using other leave.
3. Seek support
Make sure caregivers or family support can focus on the baby. The support should be reliable and familiar to you, for example if your friends have provided a reference or purchased services from her. Make sure the healthcare provider supports your decision to continue breastfeeding and gives your expressed milk to the baby. Having a supportive caregiver also boosts your self-confidence and helps you maintain your milk supply. Many organizations also offer childcare, so you can also choose to bring your baby and the caregiver.
4. Invest in supporting tools
This is one of the modern day breastfeeding tips for working women. Buy a good breast pump or rent one and express milk before you go to work, during working hours and at night before going to sleep. Use the correct flange size and settings in the pump to avoid damage to the breast tissue.
Also read: Best electric breast pumps for super moms on the go
5. Learn how to store breast milk
The expressed milk can be stored in milk storage bags or in sterilized steel or glass containers. Label the date. The milk can be kept for 4 hours at a room temperature of 26 degrees Celsius, and in the refrigerator (4 degrees Celsius) for a maximum of 24 hours. If you freeze it at -18 degrees Celsius, it can be kept for up to 6 months.
6. Know how to use stored breast milk
Always use the milk you saved first and thaw the milk before using it. Use thawed milk within an hour of thawing and do not refreeze thawed milk. You can use this milk in various recipes for complementary feeding for newborns.
7. Exercise will help
Take a test drive a week before you actually start working. Before going to the office, pump the milk so that you get a good amount in the pump and then breastfeed the baby, as the baby is getting hindmilk and will stay full for a long time.
8. Connect with fellow moms
Join breastfeeding support groups and connect with other like-minded moms to boost your morale and have healthy discussions and exchange ideas.
9. Continue night feedings
Make sure to continue night feedings even when you and baby are half asleep so you can continue to bond with your little one.
How to deal with leaky breasts at work?
This can be nerve-wracking for many news moms. But it’s not something that can’t be addressed. These tips will make life easier for you if you’re worried about breast loss at work:
*Before you register again, please inform your organization about the space required for pumping or breastfeeding your newborn.
* To address leaky breasts, you can wear breast pads and replace them regularly.
* Wearing dark clothing and keeping an extra pair of shirts will also help you deal with leaks.
With these breastfeeding tips for working women, it’s possible to beat the blues and get back to work while continuing to supply your milk to the little one. If you have any questions, it is best to contact a breastfeeding expert.