In order to maintain your milk supply, you need to pump on a regular schedule. Many women find it necessary, to carry a picture, blanket, or something that reminded them of their baby. This tactic helps some mom’s trigger their body to “let-down” their milk while other mom’s have to take breastfeeding supplements to help increase their milk supply.
I never had trouble pumping at work but my employer was supportive with my decision to pump and provide breastmilk for my baby. It is important to talk to your employer or the Human resource department prior to going on maternity leave, if you plan on breastfeeding. Ask them if they will supply you a quiet, private place so that you can pump in peace and without worry if someone is going to walk in on you. You need to find out what their policy is on expressing breast milk while at work; however, employers with more than 50 employees have to provide you with accommodations per FMLA. Finding out this information can help you determine if you are going to be successful at continuing your breastfeeding relationship once you return to work. FMLA ensures that you will have time to pump during the day even if you have to do it off the clock.
Since my biggest fear was not being able to pump enough milk for my baby, I decided to start pump as soon as I got home from the hospital because I wanted my body to get used to using a breast pump. This worked out great and I was able to accumulate a stash of breastmilk in my freezer.
After returning to work, I quickly realized that I was would be able to provide enough breast milk for my baby. In fact, I was also able to give him fresh milk everyday and I never had to use my freezer stash.
If you are unable to pump at work or can’t keep up with your babies demands, don’t beat yourself up. It is better to give your baby some breast milk than not at all. In fact, your body will adjust your milk supply even if you choose to only breastfeed your baby in the morning, evening, and at night even if you aren’t able to express any milk during the day while you are at work.
If you are planning on using a breast pump to provide your baby breast milk after you return to work, I would highly recommend that you invest in a good double electric breast pump. A cheap breast pump usually isn’t designed for heavy use and it is likely to wear out before you are ready to give up breastfeeding. When you are deciding on a breast pump, you should think of it as an investment and it is generally cheaper in the long run when you add up the costs of formula. Plus, a good breast pump can be stored and reused for subsequent babies.
What advice do you have for working moms who want to continue breastfeeding their baby after they return to work?