I recently went back to work fulltime and there have been so many adjustments, from navigating early-morning traffic, to organising the bulk of my shopping on weekends, to fitting in good parenting hours in the evening.
One of the biggest challenges has been figuring out when to express during the day to ensure my supply is good, there's enough for my baby, and that I don't spend ages on it during my work day, or avoid doing it sufficiently and ending up in pain.
The following tips from Philips Avent are well timed for me, and if you're pregnant or breastfeeding and heading back to work, it's worthwhile keeping them handy:
- If you are breastfeeding your baby fully it is possible to express your milk and store it in the fridge or freezer for your baby to have from a bottle or cup when you are not there.
- A few weeks before you return to work, start using your breast-pump so you can begin to get used to it. Generally, the morning time is best as most moms have extra milk then. Additionally, having a stock of milk in the freezer will give you extra flexibility in the weeks to come
- If your baby has never used a bottle, introduce it in good time to allow them to get used to taking their milk this way
- Don’t wait until the day you go into work to try out your new routine. Make sure you do a few run-throughs beforehand so that you are feeling confident about leaving your baby at home or in nursery
- Talk to your manager at work about where you might be able to express your milk. You will need somewhere private and clean to sit (not the bathroom) and ideally easy access to a refrigerator so that your milk can be kept cool and taken home for your baby’s feeds the following day
- Take your sterilised breast-pump and milk storage containers into work – along with an insulated bag for transporting milk home. Your milk can be kept chilled for 24 hours or frozen for up to 3 months, so the milk you express at work on Friday can be frozen for use on Monday
- It is vital that you are comfortable and have some privacy so you can express your milk efficiently. Having a picture of your baby close by can also really help you release your milk
- When you're not at work, plan to fully breastfeed your baby – this will help to boost your milk supply, maintain enjoyment of breastfeeding for you and your baby, and give you a break from preparing feeding equipment and bottle-feeds
- While your baby is still little you may wish to preserve your breastfeeding relationship, but might there be other ways you can make things easier? Working from home one or more days through the week might possibly help or taking a part time role for a while
- Plan your day care well in advance – there may be many options available to you to help you cut down the amount of time spent away from your baby. For example if you have access to a workplace nursery or child-minder close to where you work it may be possible for baby to be brought in to you for some or all feeding.
Some advantages of the Philips Avent Electric Breast Pump:
- More comfortable pumping position due to unique design
- Features a gentle stimulation mode and 3 pumping settings
- Soft massage cushion with warm feel
- Includes our Natural bottle and nipple for natural latch on
- Compact lightweight design
- Intuitive assembly. Easy visual matching of parts
- Compatible with other Philips Avent feeding products
- Easy cleaning due to the small number of separate parts
- Easy operation at the touch of a button