Breastfeeding: Returning to Work

Breastfeeding: Returning to Work

Breastfeeding preparedness before returning to work

Give yourself enough time to
practice pumping and get your body used to pumping before you return to work. Start
pumping or expressing milk for storage to use once you return to work. At first, pump
once a day. Early pumping sessions help your body learn to “let down” to a pump. This
allows you to store milk that the care provider can feed to your baby. Many mothers find
the best time to pump is in the morning. This is when milk production tends to be
greater.

Pump about 1 hour after you have
breastfed your baby. Slowly increase to 2 to 4 pumping sessions per day. But always feed
your baby first. Don’t be surprised if your baby wants to breastfeed more often for a
few days whenever you add a pumping session.

You can use the double collection
kit to pump both breasts at once. But some mothers at first pump one breast as their
baby breastfeeds at the other. This method has the benefits of double pumping. And it
may interfere less with your baby’s breastfeeding routine. A mother’s body sometimes
learns to let down in response to the pump more easily. If you try this, switch the
breast being pumped as you increase the number of pumping sessions. You still may want
to include a few pumping sessions using the double collection kit before you return to
work.


Illustration demonstrating the use of a breast pump