Can I continue breastfeeding after returning to work?
Yes you can. If you live in a nearby workplace or daycare on-site or nearby, you can take a break from breastfeeding to breastfeed your baby. If this is not possible, there are two options:
Option 1: You can use a high quality electric breast pump to replenish your milk on working days to maintain milk supply. Your baby’s nanny can give your baby a bottle of breast milk that you express. (If you can’t produce enough milk, you can also add formula milk.) You can still breastfeed your baby when you’re not at work.
Watch this video “Breastfeeding Tips for the Working Mom” (6 min 36 seconds)
The United States Protected and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was enacted in 2010, requiring employers to provide reasonable pumping breaks and private bathrooms (except restrooms) for mothers of children aged less than 12 months. (Employers with fewer than 50 employees are not required to comply. If they do, “unnecessary difficulties” will occur.) For more detailed information, read this US government fact sheet.
Option 2: If you can’t or don’t want to pump water at work, you can gradually use formula milk at home instead of daytime feeding, but continue to breastfeed at night and in the morning. But remember, if you don’t breastfeed or breastfeed during the day, your milk supply will decrease.
I can’t speak for all women, but when I have to put my 8 week old baby with myself or with someone other than my husband, I am really filled with fear. Do you know you feel stomach discomfort when something bad happens? Is it like that dripping stomach? That’s how I’ve felt every day for a long time.
It’s like my brain and body have just learned that something is wrong. Each time, my heart feels pain for them. My brain knows something is missing (my eyes were crying when I typed). My baby passed away 56 days after giving birth and my body knew it. This feeling, anxiety and fear are reactions to them leaving my body and emotions, which is definitely a shock to my system.
Even though I knew it wasn’t right, even though everything in me was screaming “No!” I returned because I was the head of the family and insured. I am precious to my family and our survival, and we cannot live without my income. This is not our choice, not even for a few weeks. But in addition to being a breadwinner, they are also a source of food for our children.
I know you’re taking a break to pump water. I know you eat during pumping or at work, because you will spend time on your lunch break to make sure your baby has lunch tomorrow. I know that every time you get up and say “I need to pump water now”, you want to know if this is convenient for your colleagues.
I know that you will take the pump bag and go to a room that hardly meets the legal requirements set by the government. You will hang a sign on the door, warning people not to enter, no doubt they will enter anyway. Or maybe you cover yourself up and stop in the office or cubicle while others work alongside you.
I know you will milk your own milk until you are full. I know that you will follow your baby’s eating habits as much as possible. A 6 week old baby eats often, very, very frequently. I know that sometimes the milk you go home is not enough to breastfeed your baby. I know you will feel defeated.
I also know that these “right to pump down time” don’t get paid. Maybe your boss asks you to work overtime on all these gas station jobs and every time you get knocked out, you have to stay longer. This will only increase the time at the end of your already long day, and even longer, until you bring that sweet, warm baby home.
I know you will stand up and announce that you must cheer. You will hear a series of comments from colleagues: “again?” “How long will you do it?” “Are you still weaning?” “Oh, that’s disgusting. “Does it make you feel like a cow?” “You don’t put milk in the employee fridge, do you?” “I wish I could take a break like you.”
I know you will feel inside because everything you really want to do is the best thing you can do for yourself and your kids. I know you can’t wait to have lunch with colleagues again. I know that watching your favorite videos on your phone while you are pumping can really help with pumping. I know the close-up video you took can actually hear the baby wince, and they cry.
I know a “good pump” deserves a high five and a hug. I know a co-worker who pumps water is going to be your new best friend job because she made it. I know that when you get home, the last thing to do is pump the water. You want the baby to be held in your arms and snorted into your neck. You want the big round eyes to look at you and the tacky smile when they are still stuck. I know that pumping is a labor of love. I know our full time mom friend doesn’t understand at all.
I know this will make you feel like another microscope at work. “How many minutes did he smoke there?” “How much rest time did you have?” “How long do we have to let him do it?” “Have you finished your work?” “Why can’t she just feed the formula?” I know it. When you spend the night with that cute baby, you worry about your performance the next day at work, but at the same time you still appreciate those quiet moments. Those moments when no one else is around. It is dark and calm. You can feed your baby and stroke his hair. Don’t think about how to recover within three hours of the alarm. I know dry shampoo and water pump suits are your best new friends.
I know coffee makes your world go round. I know that hearing “you look tired” becomes mainstream. I know that mastitis, nipple bleaching and vasospasm are children of the B word. Between taking advantage of all the paid maternity leave and sick children, you can never miss any job caring for these diseases. Even if you miss your job, no one will understand.
I know how it feels to question your professionalism, and I know you are already worried about how they would take you seriously when your breast milk leaked from your abdomen last week, but the next day you cried for no reason, argue with reluctance to work. I know you’re somewhere between doing housework and being a mom, doing stuff and pumping water.
The question “how do we women engage in occupations and feed children?” turned a deaf ear. We wanted a solution and they gave us: “Here’s a pump and a room. Your employer will not be able to punish you for smoking. They have to legally let you do this, but they don’t have to like it, nor does it need to provide convenience for you. Now, if you want, you can go back to work 42 days after the birth ”.