To help your baby top continue enjoy the very best in nutrition after you return to work, here are the Best breastfeeding tips for working mums. WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding starting within one hour after birth until a baby is six months old and nutritious complementary foods should then be added while continuing to breastfeed for up to two years or beyond.
I understand the pains of having to choose between work and your baby, a choice which should never be made in the first place if the right structures are in place in a country as ours. Most mothers choose to keep their jobs just to make enough to provide for their families and support their husbands. Many mothers give up on exclusive breastfeeding so soon because they do not know how to continue breastfeeding and working at the same time. Do you find yourself in these shoes?
As a working breastfeeding mum, you do not have to give up exclusive breastfeeding especially if you and your baby are well established on it and you are lactating well. The following can help you with the transition as you move back to the workplace
Search and engage the service of a good Crèche
As much as possible, look for a crèche very close to your workplace so it is easier for you to take breastfeeding breaks (if allowed) and come breastfeed your baby. Lunch time is another opportunity to breastfeed your baby. Also look out for a crèche that has a good hygienic environment and a fridge if possible.
Begin the preparation at home
A week or two before resumption, begin expressing your breastmilk in bottles and feeding your child with it, that way you learn the art of expressing your breastmilk and your baby get used to taking it from the bottle when handled by a caregiver. You must also invest in a breastfeeding pump whether manual or electric as it suits you. Expressed breastmilk can be kept in the coldest part of the fridge for 10 days or freezer for up to two weeks. To defrost simply bring out and place in cup of hot water. Use paper tapes to write dates on the bottles if possible and serve the milk expressed first.
Get the right equipment
Make it as easy and less- stress as possible by getting the right equipment. This can also make a big difference in keeping your motivation up. A good, strong pump is a must. Pumping bras with padding are also great for hands-free nursing and the least amount of wardrobe changes. And finally, make sure you are wearing nursing-friendly clothing.
Ready to pump
The expressed breastmilk can stay up to eight (8) hours when placed in a cup half filled with lukewarm water. Even when power fails (like it sometimes will), your child can still safely take your breastmilk at the crèche. Ensure to pass on this information to your baby’s caregiver at the crèche. If power is available, it should be stored in the fridge and not in the freezer. If you lactate well, you may need to take a bottle or two with you to work to express in the office and store in the fridge or freezer. Keeping a picture of your baby with you and looking at it can help the milk flow out more easily or simply remembering your baby’s smile will also do the trick.
As much as possible, when you are with your baby, let him suck at your breast especially all through the weekend..
Take care of yourself.
Adding pumping to the mix of work, in addition to the stress of being a new mom, can be overwhelming. Suddenly there’s a lot less time for work. But resist the instinct to cut yourself short. You still need to drink lots of water and eat a good lunch. And don’t forget some snacks, because that breastfeeding appetite is strong for a reason.
It is also important that you eat and rest well. A poor diet and stress wont help you lactate well. This is not the time to lose weight at all or go on a diet plan because your baby needs all the nutrients to grow and develop properly. Eat foods that are rich in whole grains like brown rice, oats and whole wheat bread, fruits and vegetables, dairy like milk, yoghurt and cheese and don’t forget to take lots of water during the day. Also snacks are important and come in handy at this point. Avoid sugary drinks as much as possible and snack on fruits, veggies nuts etc. It may not be easy doing all these but trust me, it is worth your effort.