So you’re going back to work.
You figured who’s going to be watching your baby, and ironed out the sleep bit.
But you’ve been nursing up until now – are you going to have to give it up?
Before you can make a real plan of action, it’s important to know what your nursing goals are so that you can create a plan of action to get there.
Do you want to EBF till 6 months and then stop? Do you want to nurse for a year? Longer? 2 years?
Or is your goal more vague – one more month and then see from there?
Or are you going to be nursing when you’re at home with your baby – say first thing in the morning, and then afternoon, evening and night (as long as you’re feeding your baby at night) – but give formula while you’re at work in the morning.
Remember that while, of course EBF is the way Hashem set things up to be and is ideal, that doesn’t mean that’s the right choice for you and your family. There is no “wrong” way to do it — but not setting up for success can leave you feeling frustrated when you don’t accomplish what you’d hoped to.
Making it work
So you know how long you’re going to be nursing, and now you need to figure out the technicalities of pumping while at work.
Your employer is required by law to provide a time and place for you to pump. Really. And that place should be a real, sanitary place – not a bathroom. It can be uncomfortable to make a stand (especially if your employer is a frum male — trust me: BTDT), but remember: this is for the health and safety of your baby!
An ESSENTIAL item is a pumping bra. It’s an investment at the front end that will pay off many many times over as you move forward. If you have your own office, you can simply lock the door and pump while you’re working. If not, perhaps you can bring a laptop or some paperwork that you can do away from your office (or regular work station) into the room you’ll be pumping in so that at least you don’t feel that you’re wasting time.
How often should you pump? At least as often as your baby will be eating. You’ll want to stimulate your breasts as often as your baby would both so that you have enough milk to leave for her when you’re away, and so that your body will be used to producing for her when you’re home over Shabbos and Sunday. With a younger baby, that might feel like it’s very often (which is where my above suggestion about using a pumping bra and doing work comes in handy).
Does it have to be so complicated?
If you’re the kind of person who is just gonna figure it out as it goes, then no need to make it more complicated :).
So tell me what you think – easy? hard? How was your transition back to work when you were nursing? Let me know in the comments below!