Exclusive breastfeeding and the working mum
Being a career woman and juggling motherhood is not quite easy, then you have to couple it up with breastfeeding your baby. Being a first time mum, it can be quite overwhelming cause it is a new experience and all. During antenatal classes we are being encouraged to breastfeed for six months and taught all the wonderful benefits of breastfeeding by the midwives and it seems all easy but in reality with all the work and having just 3 months for maternity leave , Is it possible to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months? Yes you can, it is very possible, you have to be committed to it. I must tell you it would not be easy and there would be times when you would want to give up. Juggling work and breastfeeding requires good planning and commitment, I have a few tips to help you juggle work and breastfeeding.
You need all the support you can get at this time. By support I mean your significant other (husband), family, friends or a nanny to help with the baby. If your significant other has a flexible job schedule (lucky you) he can help with feeding the baby. Before leaving for work nurse your baby and then express adequate milk for baby pending the time you would be away from baby. I knew of a breastfeeding mother who was a student, she takes her mum along with her to school and when it is break time she goes down to nurse her baby or excuses herself to nurse her baby. It can work for some all you need to do is find something that works for you.
- You should consider expressing your milk
Expressing your milk is another option that you can consider. Once you express you refrigerate and warm up when it is time for baby to feed, if you can get a breast pump invest in one it saves time and even better if it a hands free breast pump. During the period of pumping you can multitask, you can get that presentation done during this time or send those emails you have to send through you phone or laptop.
Talk to your boss about your plans to breast feed, you might not think it necessary but if want to convince your boss that breastfeeding would not interfere with work you would have to talk to them. What if your boss is a male and he doesn’t understand? You can start by hinting him early about your plans to breastfeed and explain how you can make up for the time that you lost at work to breastfeeding or use your break time to breastfeed.
- Get a crèche close to work
This can be an option mum’s who don’t have anyone to stay with baby at home. Get a crèche close to work and put your baby there, when you on break at work you can walk down to the crèche and nurse your baby and pump if time permits and you would be back at work in no time or whatever time you can arrange with your boss, you can also arrange with a colleague at work to help cover for you when you would be away.
- When you are with baby nurse don’t bottle feed : your baby is best at stimulating your milk supply
- Consider working from home or bringing the baby to work if that is a viable option.
Anytime you want to give up remind yourself of all the wonderful benefits of breastfeeding and it would motivate you to keep going.
n.b: Next post would be on proper storage of expressed breast milk don’t miss it .