07 August 2023

Breastfeeding when you return to work

Work and family can be difficult to balance at the best of times. For breastfeeding mothers returning to work after giving birth it can easily feel overwhelming.   Breastfeeding gives children the healthiest start in life. Breastmilk acts as a baby’s first vaccine, stimulates brain development and protects a woman’s health. That’s why UNICEF and…, Plan ahead  , Tell your family, friends and co-workers about your decision to breastfeed and seek out breastfeeding support groups. They can help you find solutions and support you along the way.   Here are some of the ways that women continue to breastfeed their babies while working: Keep their babies with them and breastfeed throughout the day. If the…, Breastfeeding support at work, Does your employer offer any support, such as on-site childcare or can mothers bring their babies to work?  At a minimum, your employer needs to comply with any existing legislation on maternity leave and workplace breastfeeding support. Check what is required where you live.  Ask about your workplace lactation policy. Is there a lactation room?…, Checklist before returning to work  , Try to plan out your workday and incorporate your lactation periods. Set alarms or mark your calendar to serve as reminders and help protect this time.  Try out a trial run of your new schedule just before you return to work. This can help you anticipate challenges and identify solutions.  To remember   Pads or cloths to line your bra to prevent…, Collecting and storing breastmilk in the workplace , At work, try to express as often as you would feed your baby and store the breastmilk in sealed containers. Remember to label the container with the date and time of expression. Keep containers inside a refrigerator or an insulated cooler (such as an insulated bag or ice box) with frozen gel/ice packs. When storing in a refrigerator, keep…, Transporting and storing breastmilk at home , Transport the expressed breastmilk home inside your insulated cooler.  Check with your national health authorities for guidance on milk storage, which can vary by country. As a general approach, WHO and UNICEF recommend:  1. Freshly expressed milk to be consumed by your baby within 24 hours is best stored at the back of the refrigerator where the…, Breastfeed directly whenever you can  , Expressing breastmilk in the workplace and directly breastfeeding your baby whenever possible will help you continue making milk. When breastmilk is not regularly removed from your breasts, it may lead to plugged ducts, mastitis and decreased breastmilk supply.  Before going to work and when you get home, it is best to directly feed your baby.…