A Nursing Mom’s Survival Guide to Returning to Work
Going back to work can be a difficult transition for nursing moms. Having a plan for this transition is very important. Create a strategy based on your goals, milk supply, lifestyle, and reality. Manage Expectations and you won’t put undue pressure on yourself! Here are some tips to help you on this journey.
Debora Milioni, BSN, MSN, MBA, IBCLC offers these tips:
#1 Build your stash
Start building your stash before you go back to work. I usually tell moms to start working on their milk stash at least a month before they go back, depending on their milk supply.
#2 Know your rights
If your employer does not support you, know that the law does. There are Federal and State Laws that protect nursing moms. Check this out: http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/breastfeeding-state-laws.aspx
Communicate with your boss and your team that you are nursing and that it is really important to you and your baby. Let them know how many times you will have to be pumping at work, try to stick with a pumping schedule.
#4 Make sure you have the right equipment
The pump you are using can make a difference. Sometimes renting a hospital grade pump and leaving it at work saves time, lessens work and prevents headaches. If other moms are pumping in your office sharing a hospital grade pump could work. Or, maybe your company can offer one. I love the Medela Symphony hospital grade pump, that’s what I used when I was pumping at work.
#5 Make it enjoyable
Flip through videos and pictures of your baby. This does the trick and helps you remember why you are doing this! Listening to your favorite music and watching videos of the baby will relax you, make you smile, and trigger the letdown.
#6 Eat, drink well and take herbal supplements
Make sure you are drinking plenty of water, eating a healthy breakfast, bringing your lunch to work and always have healthy snacks in hand. Herbal supplements (capsules, tinctures, tea) help to boost your supply. Even when you are taking care of all the basics you still might see your supply dropping because of stress, anxiety and exhaustion. Supplements are a huge help to ensure you are pumping what your baby needs. Milkapalooza and Lactivist by Legendairy Milk are my two favorites and you can combine them!
#7 You GOT this!
Remember how awesome you are and what a great thing you are doing for your baby and your family. Know your limits and do not put too much pressure on yourself.