Tips for Returning to Work after Baby

Tips for Returning to Work after BabySpending quality time with your newborn is a vital step in caring for your baby. It allows you the opportunity to bond with your sweet new bundle of joy, to establish a healthy milk supply and to give your body time to heal after childbirth. When it is time to go back to work, whether that’s a few weeks or a few months after your baby arrives, it may be hard to get back into the groove of your professional life. We’re sharing tips for returning to work after baby to help you make the transition as easily as possible.

Do a Dry Run: A few days before going back to work, start practicing for the big day. Wake up at the appropriate time and get yourself and your baby ready. If possible, have your childcare lined up so you can see what it will be like passing off your baby to a caregiver. Drive to work as you normally would to determine the best routes based on traffic patterns. Also, offer your baby a bottle once a day leading up to your return to work to ensure she has the hang of it before you go back for real.

Start Mid-Week: Staring back to work on a Monday makes for a very long first week after maternity leave. Try starting on a Wednesday or Thursday so you and your baby are not shocked by the separation.

Plan for Breastfeeding Success: Until now, breastfeeding probably required you to be with your baby most of the time. If you work 40+ hours a week away from your baby, keeping the momentum going can be a challenge. But it is entirely possible. Plan ahead by ensuring you have a healthy milk supply and stashing frozen breast milk for your baby to enjoy while you’re away. Speak to your boss and HR department about your plans to pump at work and determine when, where and how this will be possible while maintaining your work productivity. Have your pump, bottle supplies, cooler and a photo of your baby handy so you can continue to provide breast milk to your baby as long as you want.

Set up Meetings: Meet with your boss, co-workers, underlings and others critical to your day-to-day work function to find out what you’ve missed while you were away. After you’ve shared your experience in motherhood and a few adorable photos, dive into the status of major industry shifts, new clients or projects, staff changes and any changing policies or expectations. It’s common for co-workers and supervisors to be sensitive to your vulnerable state returning to work after baby for a few weeks but then they’ll likely want you to pick up the work they were covering for you in your absence, and maybe even more. Set your own boundaries as you learn how to juggle being both a parent and a professional.

Look Good and Feel Good: Your body size and shape may be a little different now that you’re a mom. Make sure your wardrobe meets the needs of your new figure and lifestyle. Start with some comfortable and supportive nursing bras that will compliment your silhouette. Molded padded styles look great under structured blouses, jackets and dresses. Buy a few new work outfits as well. You may continue to lose weight as your postpartum body changes with time and during breastfeeding so don’t go overboard. But remember, looking great can boost your confidence, which is a major asset in the workplace.

Prepare your Home: Even if you work from home, you’re going to have a lot less time to do household chores like cleaning, laundry and cooking. Get your home organized so you can get out of the house quickly in the mornings. Freezing a few dinners will also save time in the evenings. You’ll want to do everything you can to maximize quality time with your baby before and after work.

Sources: Idealist Mom and Mom365

World Breastfeeding Week Recap…and Beyond

We want to thank all of our customers and fans for celebrating World Breastfeeding Week with us this year.  All of your support, attention, and effort brought life to this year’s theme, Breastfeeding and Work, Let’s Make it Work.  Together, we can make it work with advocacy, encouragement and a whole lot of support.

Breastfeeding is not a two-player sport, but rather takes the entire village, including the government, employers and individuals to constantly support the cause.  We salute all those who do, like our partners, the Best for Babes Foundation.  We’re thrilled to team up with Best for Babes on many of their initiatives.  We hope you caught their series of important breastfeeding and work questions on Facebook, and that you left comments to share with fellow breastfeeding supporters.  If you missed any, we’re recapping them below with some of our favorite responses.  Thanks to all you who participated!

WBW_Meme 1“Make sure your care providers are knowledgeable about paced feedings, so that your pumping output continues to meet baby’s needs. And maximise direct breastfeeding time outside of work hours – for me, this meant sleeping in close proximity and night nursing.” – Julia Ross

“Schedule pumping time in, don’t just hope it will happen.” – Amanda Hinkle

“Have a photo of your child where you can see it while pumping.” – Elizabeth Young

 

WBW_Meme 3“At a haunted house, in the ticket booth. A woman let me hide in there and pump while she sold tickets outside of the booth. It was 30 degrees outside lol but it worked!” – Nicole Davis

“Pumping at work as a newborn nursery nurse was kinda awkward when you’re with 6 babies that aren’t your own! Lined them up end to end in their little bassinets and pumped away! No trouble with let down though.” – Jacole Johnson

“Hand pumped my engorged breasts into medical gauze (not at all absorbent) in a first aid tent at a rock CONCERT.” – Victoria Leigh Honea

 

WBW_Meme 4

“Talk to then right away. I work in construction and brought it up to my formen and general formen and they both made me great about wanting to still work and nurse. They even offered the trailer for me to pump in and they would stand gaurd so the men didn’t walk in. I couldn’t have asked for better men. I told them at 3 months prego so they had time to prepare. They were great” – Seraph Millar

“To not be afraid. Have the pumping/nursing talk before hand so you both are on the same page. Make sure you both know the laws and are able to communicate with each other if needed” – Amanda Zwally

 

WBW_Meme 5

“My hubby was so amazing! He supported me and encouraged me the whole time. When I felt like giving up he was there convincing me to keep going.” – Cassie Healy

“My Facebook group grand junction breastfeeding” – Andromeda Marin Fouts

Thanks Angela Pennino for agreeing to help me get donated milk to a mommy in need!” – Danielle Louque Yenuganti

My wife was truly one of the best supporters during our breastfeeding journey. She helped and encouraged me when I was suffering from double breast mastitis and a completely clogged nipple. Thanks Kristen Ritter! I love you and couldn’t have done this without you.” – Lana Hendrickson-Ritter

 

World Breastfeeding Week 2015 may have officially come to an end, but the truth is, at Loving Moments we celebrate all year long.  Join us here on our blog and social media channels for a wealth of information about pregnancy, baby care and breastfeeding.  Cheers to the health of babies, mothers and communities everywhere!

 

 

 

Tips for Breastfeeding and Pumping at Work

Tips for Breastfeeding and Pumping at WorkThis World Breastfeeding Week the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) selected the theme Breastfeeding and Work, Let’s Make it Work.  This is a theme revisited from World Breastfeeding Week 1993, which supported the Mother-Friendly Workplace Initiative.  Work, in this case, is defined broadly as a formal, informal or working in the home situation.  No matter where a woman works or what her life circumstances may be, she should have the right, support and encouragement to breastfeed.

The outlined goals this year include enabling mothers to breastfeed and work through support and facilitation from employers, legislation and social action groups to protect the rights of mothers.  WABA sights three elements of support to allow mothers the opportunity to breastfeed:  time, space and support.  There have been major strides in the 22 years since the last breastfeeding at work campaign; however there are still many improvements to be made on an employer and legislative level.

On a personal level, returning to work without derailing your breastfeeding goals may feel challenging.  It certainly comes with additional logistical measures but is completely possible with preparation and support.  Many new moms abandon their breastfeeding journey when they head back to a workplace outside the home, even if they haven’t reached the recommended six months of exclusive breastfeeding.  World Breastfeeding Week is aimed at encouraging mothers to continue breastfeeding when they return to work and to remove many of the barriers that hinder breastfeeding at work for new moms.

Today we’re sharing some tips for breastfeeding and pumping at work to help you prepare for your transition after maternity leave.

Before Returning to Work

  • First, research the laws in your city and state so you know your rights.  Most states require employers to provide time and space for breastfeeding or pumping at work.
  • Set a goal and write it down.  Statistics show that if you record your goals, you’re more likely to stick to them.
  • Before your first day back on the job, visit your workplace and talk to your supervisor about your desire and right to continue breastfeeding.  Even if your boss is male, he may be more supportive than you think.  Explain that you feel that breastfeeding is the best way to nurture your baby and, with all of the health benefits involved for you and your baby, it may actually prevent many sick days of missed work in the future.
  • If your baby will be at a child-care facility on site or close-by, or if you have a nanny who can bring your baby to your office, you may want to negotiate time to spend breastfeeding your baby during your workday.
  • If you plan to pump during work, discuss a flexible daily timeline that will allow you 15-25 minutes to pump two or three times a day.
  • Find a space to pump.  Your place of employment may already have a lactation room, which is great!  If not, explain to your supervisor what you need: a comfortable chair, an air-conditioned room, privacy and a place to store your milk.

Packing your Bag to Return to Work

You may be babyless at work, but you still need some gear to pump at work.  These items include:

  • Your breast pump – invest in a really good one that is super efficient and will last
  • Clean breast shields
  • At least 2 clean bottles for every pumping session
  • A cooler to transport pumped milk
  • Stickers to label your breast milk with the date
  • Wipes or other cleaning products to sterilize your pump
  • A nursing bra
  • Nursing pads
  • An extra shirt in case you leak
  • A snack
  • Something to read

Returning to Work

When the day arrives to go back to work, you may feel a little anxious.  That’s normal! Keep these tips in mind:

  • You’ve worked hard to negotiate what you need to breastfeed or pump during your workday so use it.  Don’t get so caught up in tasks that you forget to take nursing breaks.  Put your nursing breaks in your calendar as a reminder.
  • Let your co-workers know what’s going on so they can be supportive.  If you inform them rather than sneaking around, they are more likely to help work around your schedule.
  • Wear something that makes you feel great the first day back.  Even if you haven’t lost your entire baby weight, go into work the first day looking and feeling amazing.  That includes a supportive and comfortable nursing bra.
  • If you run into trouble with snarky co-workers or less-than-supportive bosses, tackle it head on.  If you can’t come to terms, go over their head to ensure you fight for a change in your workplace.  The next mom who plans on breastfeeding or pumping at work will certainly thank you.

Breastfeeding and pumping at work is not without its challenges.  But with effort and determination, you can reach your breastfeeding goals.  This World Breastfeeding Week, think about your commitment and know that millions of people across the globe stand with you as you work to achieve the best nourishment for your baby.

Welcome World Breastfeeding Week!

Welcome World Breastfeeding Week!

WIC counselor from Tawas City, MI sharing a precious, breastfeeding moment with her baby.

The annual World Breastfeeding Week started this past Saturday, August 1st! The world celebration of breastfeeding has occurred every year since 1991, when the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) was formed. This week long event encourages women to embrace their motherly attributes and praise their abilities to give their children the essential nutrients they need to grow up healthy and strong!

We’ve all heard about the benefits breastfeeding has for both mom and baby, but did you know breast milk is constantly changing to meet the needs of our children? Researchers and moms are continuously finding ways breastfeeding is better and better, and how it out wins formula every single time. Breast milk gives our children the best possible nutrients and protection. Moms who breastfeed are shown to have lower risks of cancers, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, etc., and babies who drink breast milk are given immediate and long term protection and have a lower risk of infections, obesity, and cancers. What’s even more amazing about the power of breast milk is it can alter its self to meet a baby’s needs. When a baby breastfeeds their saliva communicates with the mother’s body and their breast milk can give the baby anything they need at that time. If they are sick the milk will produce extra antibodies and antioxidants to help them recover and feel better. Same goes if the mother is sick!

During this week, August 1st to the 7th, organizations such as, La Leche League and WIC (Women, Infant, and Children) are hosting special events for breastfeeding moms and their babies. This year’s theme: Breastfeeding at Work: Let’s Make it Work! will be all about women who want to continue breastfeeding while they pursue their careers. A few spotlighted events are Camden County, NJ, who will be hosting their “Big Latch On” affair where global counts of mothers simultaneously nurse their babies for one minute, and in Caldwell, ID where the Southwest District Health WIC has their “Latch On” event, which this year will be a full day of giving breastfeeding mom’s tips on how to tie both breastfeeding and work together!

 

Find your local chapter near you and checkout all the excitement going on this week and celebrate breastfeeding as it should be: loving, nurturing, and supportive!