Lockdown is beginning to ease in Ireland and many new mums are returning to the office, which is an exciting time. But it may also raise some challenges too, particularly when it comes to breastfeeding. Working from home has meant many new mums have been able to easily breastfeed and work remotely, without the challenge of juggling the daily commute or a communal office environment. Returning to the office doesn’t mean that new mums have to stop breastfeeding, however, with studies showing that breast is still best for babies. Here are some helpful tips and ideas for breastfeeding when returning to the office.
Breastfeeding at Work:
Depending on the working environment, some new mums may be able to take their baby with them to the office. This can be useful when it comes to keeping the baby’s feeding schedule the same, with reverse cycle breastfeeding also an option. This means working whilst your baby has their longest nap between feeds, which can involve altering your work timetable around your baby where possible. This solution, however, will probably not be an option for many new mums in the office.
Pumping and Breastfeeding:
A combination of pumping and breastfeeding can make a more practical option for most new mums looking to return to the office. This means that you can still breastfeed your baby as normal whilst home, and then pump milk to keep in the fridge whilst you are at work. This expressed milk can then be given to your baby at the usual time in their feeding cycle by whoever is providing their childcare. This can be the perfect solution for lots of working new mums, as it means you can provide all the benefits of breastmilk for your baby, without having to physically keep your baby with you throughout the day.
Hiring a Breast Pump for Home:
Hiring a breast pump is a great choice for working new mums, as it means you do not have to buy an expensive pump outright, and once you are no longer using it, the breast pump can easily be returned for other mums and babies to hire. The Ameda range of breast pumps are some of the best, providing both single and double options to choose from for your comfort and convenience. The Ameda Elite is our Hospital Grade Breast Pump which can be delivered to a wide range of locations across Ireland, or you can choose to collect your breast pump from your local pharmacy instead if you prefer. Both single and double breast pumps make expressing breastmilk at home for your baby quick and simple, providing peace of mind that when you are at work, your baby is still getting all the optimum nutrition they need from mum’s milk.
Taking a Breast Pump On the Go:
Choosing to use a breast pump doesn’t mean that you always have to do so at home. Alongside their home breast pump rental models, O’Flynn Medical also provides portable breast pumps for new mums to rent out too. The Ameda Finesse Breast Pump allows new mums to express on the go, which can help to ensure a steady supply of breastmilk for your baby, as well as help to relieve engorged breasts and prevent uncomfortable leaking during the workday. This smaller and more compact breast pump has 32 different pumping settings, so you can choose the one that feels right for you. It also comes with medical-grade Comfortflow™ technology for the most natural expressing experience possible. Once again, you can choose between single or double breast pumps, with both options easy to clean, anti-virus, and anti-mould for greater parent peace of mind.
How Often to Use a Breast Pump Before Returning to Work:
It is a good idea to start using your breast pump about a month before heading back to the office. This will then give you plenty of time to get used to using your breast pump, find your ideal comfort level, and should also mean that you already have a good stock of pre-pumped breastmilk in reserve too. To keep your body’s production of breastmilk at a steady pace, it is important to pump regularly, just as you would breastfeed your baby on a steady schedule too. This lets your body know how much breastmilk is needed every day so that it can continue to produce the right amount for your baby. Pumping regularly can also help protect new mums against conditions such as mastitis, where one or more milk ducts in the breast can become blocked and inflamed. This condition can be very painful, so it’s important to use your breast pump on a consistent schedule to avoid any milk ducts becoming blocked with unexpressed milk. It is also a good idea to breastfeed your baby when you come home, rather than automatically reach for a pre-expressed bottle. This will help your body to continue to make the right supply of milk for you and your baby.
Breastfeeding and Breast Pump Essentials:
When returning to work, here are some essentials all new mums need to keep breastfeeding and using their breast pump successfully:
- The Correct Bra – many breastfeeding bras are now easy to buy on the high street or online, with a special clip that allows you to open the front of the bra to easily access your nipple.
- Your Own Breast Pump – it is very important to only use your own breast pump and never borrow one from another mum or friend. The breast pumps hired from O’Flynn Medical are always sterile, medical-grade, and completely safe for new mums to use.
- Milk Cooler Bag – this is essential so you can transport your pumped milk without it going off. See The Store‘N Pour Breast Milk Storage Bags
- Schedule for Pumping – you will need time to set up and clean down your breast pump, so make sure these breaks of roughly 15-20 minutes have been added to your usual work schedule.
- A Comfortable Place to Pump – having a quiet place, where you feel you can be safe and undisturbed is important when pumping. Having a photo of your baby close by can also really help, even one on your phone, or taking a grow to smell can also assist with letting down your milk too.
- The Correct Technique – when using your breast pump, massage your breasts with your hands both before and during your pumping sessions. This will help to fully release all the milk and can also assist with an improved and steady breastmilk supply too.
How Much Breast Milk to Pump:
Depending on the age of your baby, most newborn babies will drink around 10-15oz of breastmilk in an average 8-12 hour working day. This makes up about a third of your baby’s daily requirement. Babies of 1-3 weeks will need between 15-25oz during this same period, whilst babies 4-6 weeks will need 25-35oz.
More Breastfeeding and Pumping Tips:
Please also check out our blog on breastfeeding advice and tips for all new mums, where you can find all the information you need to successfully breastfeed your baby as a new mum.
Also see our range of Breast Pumps for both sale and rental, plus some handy accessories to help you along.