Breastfeeding and returning to work
If you are breastfeeding your baby, you might be wondering how you will manage it when you return to work, and thinking you might have to wean your baby sooner than you would like.
However, before you stop breastfeeding if you want to there are a number of ways you can keep doing it and go back to work.
As attitudes to breastfeeding in our society change, the needs of the breastfeeding mother are being recognised more and more. Gone are the days where you could be expected to feed your baby or pump breastmilk in the toilet. Workplaces must now provide a safe, clean and private space for mothers to feed or pump.
However, working out what returning to work and feeding will look like for you going forward will depend on your work circumstances.
- If you have the opportunity to remain close to your child while you work then feeding may be able to continue as normal.
Otherwise, you might consider one of the following options:
- Breastfeeding your baby in the morning before work and after work before they go to bed
- Giving your baby expressed breastmilk in a bottle or mix-feeding with formula during the day when your baby is in care
If you choose to give your baby expressed milk, you may choose to pump during the day at work and store your milk. This will help keep up your milk supply and stores.
Before you return to work, speak with your boss or your employer about your options for feeding, in terms of flexibility to work around your baby’s feeding schedule, or options to help manage your pumping needs.
Remember it may take some time to adjust to this new normal, and your baby might be unsettled at first, but they will adapt as will you. Go easy on yourself, and if you can, try and implement any changes in the weeks leading up to your return to work so that any issues can be ironed out in advance.