There is no freedom of choice for humans,
if it has been taken away from them at the beginning.
Breast-feeding is not a choice,
but an obligation to the choice.
Give your child the freedom of choice

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Back To Work

Breastfeeding can present some unusual challenges for the working mother. However, none of these challenges should be viewed as a reason not to attempt it. With preparation and support from family and employers, many mothers continue to breastfeed their babies while working out of the home on a full-time basis. It is important for breastfeeding mothers to know what obstacles lay ahead and how to overcome them. Advance preparation is vital. The following plan is intended to help smooth the transition of returning to working while breastfeeding.
Obstacles to successful breastfeeding for the working mother include: short maternity leave (less than 8 weeks), lack of support from employer, inadequate breaks for pumping, inability to pump due to lack of private space, maintaining job performance, maintaining milk supply, and leaking/engorgement. Factors that support breastfeeding for the working mother include: on-site child care, a clean and private place to pump, flexible schedules, support from employer and family, adequate breaks for pumping, and increased breastfeeding during non-working hours.
During Your Pregnancy:Discuss your plans for maternity leave and breastfeeding with your supervisor & agree on the length of leave to be takenDiscuss options for returning to work - part-time, full-time, flex-time, working at homeDiscuss use of breaks for pumpingIdentify a clean, private place for you to pumpTalk to other working mothersKnow your legal rights for breastfeeding in the workplaceParticipate in the corporate lactation program, if availableDuring Your Maternity Leave: Establish a good milk supply with exclusive nursing (no formula) and pumped milk in a bottlePractice pumping, time yourself so you know how long it takes to completely empty the breastsBuy or rent a high quality electric pump with a double pump set-up to maximize efficiencyGive your baby a bottle of pumped breast milk everyday starting at 3-4 weeks of ageIdentify clothing that allows easy access for pumping - patterns hide leaks betterKeep your employer abreast (no pun intended) of any changes during your leaveBuy boxes of disposable breast pads to prevent leaking through clothesReturning to work: Try to return to work at the end of the week so your first week back will be shortGet your rest and proper nutritionKeep your pump and equipment ready to goBring your baby's picture to workTry to pump every 3 hours while you are away from your babyPump in a clean and private placeBreastfeed more often during non-working hoursHave some formula available for your baby for the "just in case" eventContinue to talk with other nursing mothers for supportUse a cooler with an ice pack to store pumped milk if a refrigerator is unavailable

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