Thursday, July 1, 2010

Getting Started - Preparing to Return to Work

Whether you're still pregnant or nearing the end of your maternity leave, the thought of returning to work can fill even the most dedicated career woman with feelings of dread and anxiety. How will the baby adjust to daycare? Will my boss and coworkers still value me? Will I ever fit into my professional wardrobe? It can all be so overwhelming!

If you're worried about whether you will be able to continue breastfeeding your baby after your leave ends, the answer is Yes! Absolutely! The list below gives you a step by step guide you can follow to maximize your chances for success. As this site develops, look for articles devoted to each of these topics and much more!

Checklist: Preparing for Pumping

  1. Learn as much as possible about breastfeeding your baby. See here and here for my top 2 favorite sources for research-based information.
  2. Know the law. Certain federal and state laws protect the rights of breastfeeding mothers in the workplace.
  3. Choose a pump. Consider your needs, budget, and product reviews.
  4. Figure out where and when you will pump. Discuss your plans with your supervisor and/or human resources department.
  5. Buy your accessories. Do you want to pump hands-free? Need an alternate power supply?
  6. Set up your milk storage system - how will your milk bank work?
  7. Practice setting up and using your pump.
  8. Sterilize your collection bottles, horns, valves and baby bottles a few weeks before your due date.
  9. Establish a solid breastfeeding relationship before you return to work! Whether you and baby are a match made in nursing heaven or need a bit of help from a good lactation consultant, this is the most important thing you can do to ensure you'll make your breastfeeding goals.
  10. Review the guidelines for freezing, storing and thawing human milk. It's not nearly as fragile as you may think!
  11. Start building your milk stockpile. Take advantage of that early over-supply to learn how to pump and begin building your frozen milk stash for a rainy day. However, be careful not to pump yourself into over-supply!
  12. Introduce baby to the bottle. Most experts recommend waiting until breastfeeding is well established, and at least 2-3 weeks, to introduce baby to expressed milk.
  13. Learn about the typical feeding patterns of exclusively breastfed babies receiving expressed milk by bottle. The average baby only needs about an ounce per hour while she's away from mom.
  14. Review your feeding plan with your baby's care provider. Make sure they understand that your milk needs to be treated differently than formula and that it's not a biohazard!
  15. Develop routines for the cleaning and prep of bottles and your pump.
  16. Take a deep breath and head back out into the real world!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Custom Search