LivingHow to get back to work and keep breastfeeding...

How to get back to work and keep breastfeeding without stress

We know that the WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for six months and accompanied by other foods for up to two years or more, whenever the mother and baby wish. Unfortunately, this is sometimes difficult, because in our country at the moment maternity leave is 16 weeks (slightly less than four months).

Is it then possible to exclusively breastfeed for up to six months? And is it possible to maintain breastfeeding even though we have already started work ? Can we do it without having to express milk in the office? Here are some tips to make this easier.

Know your rights: the breastfeeding permit

During the first months of the baby’s life (9 or 12 months, depending on the job), mothers have the right to breastfeeding leave, with which they can be absent for one hour a day without reduction of salary for breastfeeding (breastfeeding is not distinguished maternal of artificial).

We can use it to breastfeed directly or to express milk, and we can do it in the middle of the day or enter later or leave earlier (in these cases it is usually only half an hour).

In many cases they offer us the possibility of grouping the hours of breastfeeding and thus delaying the return to work by 2-4 weeks (accumulated breastfeeding). There is also the possibility of assigning part or all of the permission to the father.

Exclusive breastfeeding can be deferred

Sometimes we think that we cannot exclusively breastfeed because we have to go to work before our baby is six months old. This term refers to the type of milk and not the container, so we can do delayed breastfeeding, give breast milk in a bottle (or cup, spoon …) and we will also be talking about exclusive breastfeeding.

Although it is not easy, maintaining breastfeeding when we go to work is possible, even without expressing milk in the office.

Returning to work is not synonymous with stopping breastfeeding

For many moms, returning to work is the end of breastfeeding. Many do not want to depend on the breast pump or cannot express milk in the office. Some spend many hours away from home and do not find it feasible to extract so many times. But nature is wise and everything adapts.

Thus, if we do not want to extract ourselves at work, we can only keep the afternoon and evening feedings when we are with our baby. Or some moms keep only those at night, or the first thing in the morning. Our body and our baby will adapt to everything, and we will obtain more benefits if we perform mixed breastfeeding (combining artificial milk with breast milk), than if we stop breastfeeding and go exclusively to formula milk.

To plan

Although it costs and we do not want to think about going back to work, it is good that we prepare in advance. We do not have to do it with a lot of time, but we must be clear, at least a few days before, how we are going to organize ourselves.

If our baby is less than six months old and we want to maintain exclusive breastfeeding, we must first express milk to take at least the first / first days feedings. We must also decide whether or not we are going to express milk at work. In case our baby is going to go to the nursery, we will have to inform us about the possibility that they give him breast milk.

Make your own milk store

We can begin to express milk to freeze and have it ready when we return to work. The first few extractions can be disappointing, but you have to be patient. The breast, used to breastfeeding only one baby (or 2 in the case of twins), now has to produce for one more: the breast pump. In addition, the baby expresses milk infinitely better than the most powerful of machines. So patience and training.

We can take out a few moments throughout the day and store it in different containers in the fridge throughout the day. When they are all at the same temperature, we can put them together and freeze them (as long as less than 24 hours have passed). And if we ever get enough of it, we freeze it as soon as possible. I recommend making sachets (or jars) of different amounts (for example, 50ml and 100ml), to adjust to the baby’s needs and waste as little milk as possible.

Learn about how to store and use breast milk

Breast milk lasts for a certain time depending on where it is kept, as we can see in the table below.

Ideally, use fresh milk (not frozen), preferably. It is not necessary to heat it (and it is not advisable to do it in the microwave), it is enough to bring it to room temperature or to temper it by immersing it in a container with hot water or under running hot water.

Once defrosted, it can be kept refrigerated for up to 24 hours to be used later; it should not be frozen again.

If you can, pump your milk at work

Many moms do not feel like expressing milk at work and others, unfortunately, cannot (although we should always have the opportunity). If we are going to spend many hours in the office, it is an excellent time to take one or more shots.

We just have to have a clean space to be able to do it with peace of mind and a refrigerator to store the milk (if we do not have it, we can take a portable refrigerator and cold accumulators). To improve the extraction we must avoid being very aware of the breast pump; Thinking about our baby or watching videos or photographs of him usually helps to express more milk.

Watch out for milk rises

Whether we plan to express milk or if we have prepared not to, we can have a milk spike at work, especially the first few days. For this reason, it is advisable not to forget the breastfeeding discs and be prepared to express milk in case of need (breast pump or manual expression).

Sometimes they don’t want to eat

Most babies who have been exclusively breastfed are reluctant to take a bottle at first. The problem is not usually that they do not like the milk, but that they do not like the container. They tend to accept it better if someone else gives it to them and they don’t feel close to mom.

In addition, taking a bottle is not mandatory; They can drink the milk in a glass, with a spoon … And if they are older than six months and have already started complementary feeding, we can take advantage of the hours that we are not with them to eat other foods.

Courage, you are doing very well

Is not easy. It is not easy to part with such a small baby who still needs us so much. It is not easy to express milk at work and it is not easy to make the decision not to. But ** we always do our best ** and with our children in mind. You are doing it very well.

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