Maternity leave is over. It’s your second week back to work and it now seems your life revolves around pumping; which is kind of stressful because you feel you should be focused on adjusting to this new “Working mom” status. But juggling between a fulfilling professional life and spending quality time with your little one now that you are away from him during the day can easily become frustrating. And this stress will only have bad consequences. We had a talk with Ms. Joanna Nawfal, Lamaze certified childbirth educator and breastfeeding consultant, and gathered you some tips if you choose to walk the breastfeeding path.
First things first, you should start by buying the best pump that suits your budget and the type of your work. “There are many models on the market, says Ms. Nawfal, and the best ones are usually double electric pumps that are more time efficient. However, you can still have a great output by using a single pump.”
Also, it is primordial to discuss logistics and priorities with your supervisor. Make sure they are aware of your plans and don’t hesitate to come a little earlier and leave a little late in order to make up for the time you spend pumping. As long as you still respect deadlines and do not fall behind, this life choice should not be a problem.
Some working places are more mother-friendly than other. For instance, BLC Bank grants mothers two fully paid part time months after their maternity leave to give them more time with their newborn and make their transition easier.
Such arrangements can give you time to store a good quantity of backup milk in your freezer.
Ms Nawfal advises to start pumping after the first month of birth, once every other day for the first week then once every day for the weeks after until you return to work. This way you will have plenty of milk squirreled away in your freezer when your maternity leave comes to an end. Pump directly or half an hour after breastfeeding.
Once you are back to work, make sure to pump after nursing at home, or every 3 hours and store the bottles in an icepack. You can then keep them overnight in the fridge or freeze them for later use.
Ms. Nawfal explains “a mother’s milk can last from three to six months in the freezer and up to a year if it is stored in a separate freezer. Your milk in food glass containers or plastic containers that are BPA free and use 80 to 120mls batches”.
Each working mother should trust herself and be confident that she can produce enough milk for her baby. Only 1-2% of women do not have enough milk due to medical conditions. At the end of the day, breastfeeding is a supply and demand process. Remember that the most important factor in pumping is to stay stress-free without worrying about the amount of milk you are storing. Eating oats can help you relax and thus produce more milk.
Most importantly, do not hesitate to ask for help during this new journey.