Saturday, January 2, 2010

Working mamas: How keep up breastfeeding?

A HealthDay article recently pointed out a study that proved what most of us already know: returning to work too soon after your baby is born makes successful breastfeeding more difficult. The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, showed that moms who returned to work after six weeks or less are three times as likely to quit breastfeeding.

Why bother keeping it up when formula is so readily available, some might ask? For one, exclusive breastfeeding
improves protection against many diseases, including bacterial meningitis, diarrhea, and ear infections. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that women breastfeed exclusively (meaning no water, other liquids or solid foods) for six months and continue breastfeeding for at least the infant's first year of life.

If you're a working mom who breastfeeds your baby, how have you made it work? We — and other moms — would love to hear your tips!

Alisa, Sarah & the women of Blooma


Lauren said...

I started pumping milk as soon as I got home from the hospital.

Getting that head start built up a really good supply of milk for when I returned to work (it takes longer than you think!), and got me used to pumping, which was definitely more challenging than breastfeeding, for me.

Some of my friends that struggled with breastfeeding when they returned to work, said they wished they had started pumping much earlier.

Alisa said...

Thanks for the great tip!

Emma said...

Stash some extra supplies in your desk. I keep an extra set of pump parts (shield, valve, etc.), a box of nursing pads, and some extra breast milk bags, in case I forget to pack any of those.

Also, make sure to drink lots of water, and take advantage of your pump time to do something good for yourself. I read the Star Tribune every morning and the Wall Street Journal every afternoon. I'm a well-informed mama!

Kristina said...

I returned to work after 6 weeks and continued to breastfeed. I never pumped. Never even owned a pump. When I was at work, my husband fed our son formula but I would breastfeed before work in the morning, when I got home, before bed, and during the night. After about a week, my body just paused production of milk between 7am-6pm! It was amazing. I think I am pretty lucky. I breastfed my son until he was 20 months old, and am so glad I did.

James and Rach said...

i agree that starting pumping early is key! also - if you can work with your little one to reverse cycle (take more milk when you are together and less during the working hours)that will help a lot, too! also - having a daycare provider who respects and supports your efforts is a big deal as well. i CRIED when my provider tossed 6 oz. of unused milk! finally - do your best to keep up your supply as long as possible but don't be too hard on yourself if you ultimately have to supplement with formula. breastmilk is great but your LOVE is the most important thing you can give your baby!

James and Rach said...

gasp! upon review i fear my comment looks like a dig on my daycare provider - who is FABULOUS - and who (despite tossing the aforementioned foremilk b/c it looked watery)has been quite supportive of both breastfeeding AND cloth diapering (i told you she was fabulous!).okay. i feel better now ;)