Breastfeeding and Returning to Work


Megan Cook, BSN, RN, IBCLC (International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant)

Most breastfeeding moms who return to work need to use a pump to supply milk while away. When it comes down to picking a pump; find one you’re comfortable using. Make sure you use it and check it out before returning to work.

When it comes to flange, the right fit matters, and most pumps come with different sizes. Just because it comes with it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right size. One of the reasons to see a lactation consultant is that we can fit the size of the flange, which can help with pumping comfort and milk output.

While at work, plan to pump the number of feeds that you’re going to be missing. If the baby is going to have three feeds while you’re gone, then try to plan for three pump sessions while you’re gone to help protect your milk supply. At room temperature, freshly pumped milk is good for up to four hours, and in the refrigerator it’s ideal four hours and ok up to seven days. In a regular freezer, it is good for up to six months and then in a deep freeze for six months to a year. When it comes to freezing milk, at first, we recommend you freeze smaller quantities in a bag just until we get used to how much baby takes at each feed to minimize waste.

Lastly, I always recommend trying to introduce the bottle before you go back to work. Baby may take a bottle from someone other than mom easier.

If you need help or support, I would be happy to assist! Call (574) 223-2020 to schedule an appointment with me.

Editor's Note

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