Thursday, May 9, 2013

8 ways to help a new nursing mom return to work

By Marcia Hall
With Yael Stein of La Leche League, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

It is very difficult for a new mom to return to work when her maternally leave is over.  There is a great mix of emotions.  On one hand she might be enthusiastic about returning to a job that she loves and excited to be able to get out of the house again.  On the other hand she almost always feels guilty about leaving her child with anyone even if it is someone that she trusts emphatically. 

There is a maternal instinct that kicks in and cannot be denied.  This guilt is compounded when she is making choices about feeding and breast milk.  It can often be very difficult for a mom to continue to offer breast milk when she goes back to work.  Caregivers that are helping to support her can make it easier for mom to make the choice to continue to nurse and offer breast milk to her baby. 

  • Learn the benefits of extended use of breast milk
  • Research the storage guidelines of breast milk.  
  • Suggest that the hours of work are extended a bit.
  • Offer to bring baby to workplace during the day for feeding. 
  • Avoid feeding the baby within two hours of mom returning home 
  • Find alternative ways to soothe baby without bottle.  
  • Ask the mom if you can wear the baby in a sling or a wrap. 
  • Be flexible with the introduction of mom’s working schedule 
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