Breastfeeding and going back to work: what no one told you before

Going back to work is a difficult milestone for a breastfeeding mom. But the continuity of your breastfeeding journey even after you go back to work is not mission impossible. Relax, don’t stress, and check out these tips that will make this step easier.

dr sally.webp
Sally Al Beer
Published on:Sep 18th 2022 |Updated on:Apr 10th 2024

Can I keep on breastfeeding my baby after I resume my work?

Going back to work after having a baby, is a hard decision for every mom. It is a challenge for her, as she will be leaving her baby for many hours. And many things she shared with the baby, such as breastfeeding, are about to change. The good news is that you can keep on breastfeeding after returning to work if you want to.

Challenges met by breastfeeding moms when returning to work

  • Stress and anxiety

Due to separation from the baby for long hours, in addition to excessive work piled up during her maternity leave. Such negative feelings can affect the milk supply.

  • Change in the baby’s sleep schedule

Your little one’s sleep pattern might be affected by your return to work. Your baby might stay up all night to breastfeed to make up for the hours you spend at work when he sleeps most of the time. This can be exhausting to you but don’t worry this is temporary and the baby will adjust to this new schedule.

  • Work hours

Moms often work for long hours, and often there is not a designated area for pumping, which can affect the milk supply.

Options for breastfeeding moms returning to work

  • Choosing a nearby daycare

Some workplaces have their daycares. This is an excellent solution for breastfeeding employees who can continue their journey by feeding their babies during their lunch break or the breastfeeding break guaranteed in most labor laws in the region.

  • Pumping during work hours

A mom can pump her milk during her work hours, the pumped milk can be given to the baby the next day. This ensures the milk flow and supply are not affected.

  • Using formula

If pumping at work is hard, the baby can be given formula while the mom is away. She can resume breastfeeding when she gets home. The body will adjust to this new schedule and the milk supply will not be affected.

Working mom breastfeeding essentials

  • High-grade double electric breast pump

This type of pump ensures a quick and efficient pumping process. It is also important to choose a pump that makes minimal noise to spare the mom any embarrassment at work. Some modern breast pumps are so small they can fit inside the bra allowing the mom to pump while working. A breast pump must always be washed after use.

  • Milk storage bottle
  •  Thermal box to transport the milk.

Tips before returning to your job

  • Pre-planning

Planning is the essence of any success; therefore, a working mom needs to have a plan before returning to work by:

  • Assessing the return-to-work options

To see if she can return to work part-time, remotely, or following a hybrid work model. And then choose the best option for her, her baby, and her family.

  •  Introducing the baby to the caregiver

It is important to introduce the babies to their caregivers, whether the nanny at home or the daycare staff early on. And gradually increase the hours spent with them.

  • Getting the baby used to the bottle or cup

The baby will be getting breast milk through bottles while his mom is at work, therefore he needs to get used to it before his mom returns to work.

  • Practice pumping

I recommend that the moms start pumping and getting used to the process before returning to work, the pumped milk can be stored and used when needed.

  • Choose appropriate clothing

Opt for front-buttoned shirts and blouses, choose a good nursing bra, and avoid tight clothing, as they cause the clogging of milk ducts.

  • Practice skin to skin upon return

You must practice skin-to-skin with your baby when you come home to stimulate milk production. I also recommend the use of baby carriers to keep the baby close and to make up for the hours of separation.

What if pumping at work is not always possible?

Do you have to endure the pain of breast engorgement? And will your milk supply decrease? Of course not! You can empty partially your breasts by hand compressing the breasts for a few minutes and then discarding the milk. This will spare you the pain of engorgement and not affect the milk supply.

Breastfeeding and solid foods

It is noteworthy that solid foods are complementary to breast milk during the baby’s first year. Therefore, it is essential to keep the same volume of breastfeeding even after the baby starts eating solids.

Check out Pumping Breast Milk: a detailed guide



dr sally.webp
Sally Al BeerBreastfeeding Counselor & Newborn Care Specialist

Sally graduated with a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from the University of Sharjah. She moved to Ontario Canada where she worked as a pharmacist for several years. Meanwhile, she had two children and received great support from breastfeeding consultants. She enjoyed the breastfeeding journey which drove her to volunteer to help new mothers in this journey as well. She found her passion in the field of mother and baby and continued to volunteer after returning to live in the UAE, until she became an accredited breastfeeding specialist providing support to hundreds of breastfeeding mothers, by helping them overcome the challenges of breastfeeding.

Related post