We recently held an informative and important teleclass for expectant and new moms, generously sponsored by Lansinoh and presented by Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) and nationally-renowned breastfeeding expert, Gina Ciagne. Gina covered such topics as preparing for breastfeeding before baby arrives, tips to overcome some of the most common breastfeeding issues – like engorgement and milk supply concerns, preparing to return to work as a breastfeeding mom, and how your partner can support your breastfeeding goals.
Participants ended this session with important information and practical tips that can be implemented right away to make their breastfeeding experience a positive one!
In case you missed the class, or would like it as ongoing reference and support, you can find a link to the recorded teleclass HERE.
During class, Gina discussed the issues and stresses involved for breastfeeding moms returning to work. Here is a great article from the Lansinoh site on what returning-to-work moms should know before the big day:
What to Do – When to Do It – If You’re Returning to Work
Nervous about returning to work as a breastfeeding mom?
There are hundreds of thousands of moms who have been down this road before you, and pumping at work is more accepted now than it has ever been. Here are some suggestions to help get you back to work as effortlessly as possible.
Before Maternity Leave
When planning for maternity leave, talk to your employer about your plans to breastfeed. Know your legal rights BEFORE that conversation, including rights that are protected by the Affordable Care Act. If your employer does not already have a pumping room, create a proposal that specifies where you’ll pump, store breastmilk, take breaks, etc. Come to your employer with a plan that makes it hard for them to say no.
2-4 Weeks Before Going Back to Work
Get a Buddy. Either in person or on breastfeeding message boards, connect with working and breastfeeding moms to learn what to expect. Ask them questions, listen to their advice. It’s especially helpful if you can find someone who has returned to your specific workplace as a breastfeeding mom.
Purchase a pump. Sterilize the parts. Learn how to put it together and take it apart.
At Least Two Weeks Before Returning
Practice, practice, practice. Like learning to nurse, you’ll need to get used to pumping. Your baby will need practice taking breastmilk from someone other than you. Read Pumping Basics for more help and tips on getting the most out of pumping.
Outsource. While at work you’ll need to find the best method for your caregiver to provide baby with your expressed milk. They can use a cup, syringe, or bottle, but it really depends on your baby’s temperament and age, and your situation. Enlist help. To ease the transition, have another person offer your breastmilk to your baby. Ideally, the bottle and nipple should be introduced no sooner than four weeks of age to ensure your supply is established, and at least two weeks before you return to work. Even if baby is getting breastmilk from a bottle, you should pump during these feeding times so your body gets the signals it needs to keep making milk.
Do a dry run. Have your baby stay with their caregiver for a few hours. This will help ease the transition when you return to work. Use the time to get organized and adjust to time away from your baby.
Speaking of caregivers, try to choose one who is nursing-friendly. Tell them how much breastfeeding means to you and your baby and make sure they understand the importance of keeping your milk safe. Refer to Tips for Storing Breastmilk for more information.
Outfit yourself. Assemble a wardrobe for pumping with items such as two-piece outfits with lightweight tops that are pulled up from the bottom.
Once You Have Returned
Timing is everything. Know when to pump and when to breastfeed. Feeding at the breast is ideal to keep up your supply and nurture baby, so try to nurse when you are together. And remember to pump when you are away from your baby so your body gets the regular stimulation it needs to keep up your supply.
Going back to work doesn’t mean giving up breastfeeding! You can begin to create a schedule with baby that allows you to breastfeed before you leave for work, when you return, and before baby’s bedtime. Feeding at the breast is the best way to drain your breasts and trigger more milk production so you may need to remind your caregiver not to feed your baby just before you pick baby up.
Find your happy place at work. While pumping, you need to be relaxed, comfortable and undisturbed. If your company does not have a Lactation Room, find an office, conference room or private spot where you can shut – and preferably lock – the door.
Take a deep breath. This will become second nature to you and your baby. We know that being a working, breastfeeding mom is not an easy task, but it’s well worth it. We’re here to support you, so check in with our lactation counselors if you need some extra guidance.
- Feeding Expressed milk to babies
- What to expect as a breastfeeding mom
- Tips for Pumping Breastmilk
- Breastfeeding and Bonding with Baby
JOIN the Lansinoh Moms Club where you can get emailed advice both during pregnancy and after birth on breastfeeding and preparations! LIKE Lansinoh’s Facebook page, which is chock full of tips. They also have a lot of fun ways to engage – including contests, guidance, support, sharing stories, asking questions on Facebook during their ask the expert sessions!
Founded by a breastfeeding mom, Lansinoh has been committed to helping moms succeed in breastfeeding for 30 years. Famous for its award-winning cornerstone product, HPA® Lanolin, today Lansinoh is the market leader in breastfeeding accessories. Lansinoh’s commitment to drive innovation and maintain the highest quality standards in the industry has led to an expanded product offering that includes premium toddler mealtime and baby toiletries products, all designed to help moms, babies and families live a healthy life. The Lansinoh family of brands, which are available in more than 25,000 retail stores nationwide, includes breastfeeding accessories and the mOmma® bottle feeding system. For more information, please visit www.lansinoh.com, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/lansinohUSA or facebook.com/mOmmaUS, and follow us on Twitter at @LansinohUSA and @mOmmaUS.
Gina Ciagne, Lansinoh’s Lansinoh’s Vice President, Healthcare and Media Relations, is a nationally recognized expert on breastfeeding. As a Certified Lactation Counselor and La Leche League International-trained breastfeeding peer counselor, she has worked with and provided advice and support to thousands of breastfeeding mothers around the world. A sought after speaker and media resource, Ms. Ciagne is a frequent contributor to The Huffington Post, and has appeared on The Bump, CNN, Fox News and many other radio and television news programs. In her role as Vice President, Global Healthcare Relations for Lansinoh, Ms. Ciagne oversees the company’s outreach to and engagement with healthcare communities. She received her masters degree in Public and Community Health at Trinity University, and is the mother of two breastfed children.
The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributor’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.