Breastfeeding and Returning to Work or Study TOP TIPS hand out
Advantages of continued breastfeeding:
All the ‘normal’ advantages of breastfeeding PLUS
Less time off due to child’s illness/fewer GP visits
More sleep (and of a better quality) than if you switch to formula
Lots of quality ‘bonding’ when you return from work
Lots of the happy hormone oxytocin, which will help you stay less stressed
And your employer gets a happy, loyal employee!
Alternatives to bottle feeding:
Other ‘sippy’ cups (with or without valves)
Open cups (or spoons) including Doidy cup.
Straws, Droppers, Syringes and Finger feeding.
Reverse cycle feeding (feeding during the evening/night and as much as possible while together.)
Tips for pumping:
Do a trial run in the place where you will be pumping before you start work.
Don’t pump too hard (nipple separation!)
Start with small pumping sessions and work up to 10 to 20 mins per side
Build up a small stash in advance (but don’t use it unless you have too!)
Have a stimulus such as a picture or a recording to help your Milk Ejection Reflex
Massage before, during and after pumping.
Tips for storing/transporting breastmilk:
If freezing in breastmilk bags don’t forget the gift-bag trick.
Keep it at the back of the fridge not in the door.
Get it from one place to the other as quick as possible, as cool as possible.
If possible avoid ‘self-defrosting’ freezers (gives milk a soapy taste)
Rule of thumb – 4 hours at room temperature, 4 days in the fridge, 4 months in the freezer.
Mix separated milk by swirling not shaking to preserve immunological factors.
Inform your employer in plenty of time.
Keep a spare top at work (and possibly spare breast-pads too).
Wearing loose tops and a jacket or cardigan can help.
If you feel your MER start, cross your arms and push your palms in hard!
Tips for taking a bottle:
Don’t start too soon (stress, nipple confusion etc.)
Get someone else to do it (go out!)
Put the teat on the lips for baby to take it in like a breast.
Warm the teat in boiled water (be careful to avoid scolding)
Start with baby sucking on you (finger or breast) then quickly swap.
Don’t try when baby is hungry as they will get frustrated.
Experiment with different brands and teats (go for slower flowing teats).
ALWAYS add powder to HOT WATER not cold
Consider premade cartons.
Try a variety of brands to find which one works best for you and baby.
If you are still doing some breastfeeding don’t mix the feeds if possible and make sure the last feed of the night is all breastmilk for greater immunological protection.
Transport boiled water in a flask with sterile bottle and separate powder, mix when ready.
(Next best is to make up the formula, refridgerate, transport in cooler and reheat once)
Don’t reduce your feeds at a number greater than 1 every 7 to 10 days (risk of mastitis and blocked ducts).
Have your replies ready!
Have a plan, rehearse it and be prepared to be flexible.
Remember change can be unsettling for both of you and your baby may well pick up on your anxieties as well – this will pass as you become more comfortable in your new routine.
Find a breastfeeding café or La Leche meeting you can still go to after you start work and go to it as often as possible – no one will be more supportive and more helpful than another breastfeeding mum!
See Breastfeeding Cafes and La Leche meetings around Charnwood to find a cafe near you!