Breastfeeding for Working Mothers 

Breastfeeding for Working Mothers 
Highlights

World Health Organisation (WHO) and Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) recommend exclusive breast  feeding until six months age and continue until 2 years of age. Breast milk has all the necessary  ingredients for babies optimal growth both physically and mentally.

World Health Organisation (WHO) and Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP) recommend exclusive breast feeding until six months age and continue until 2 years of age. Breast milk has all the necessary ingredients for babies optimal growth both physically and mentally.

Present day women are working equally like men and it is challenging for them to continue breastfeeding. Returning to work is one of the major reason for failure of breast feeding. But it can be done without much difficulty if one follows the following steps.

  • Wait until breastfeeding is fully established before returning to work, which may take upto 6 ‐ 8 weeks.
  • Two weeks prior to returning to work, start expressing milk. Though manual expression can be done breast pump would be ideal for this purpose. There are various models available, choose the one that suits to your needs.
  • Expressed milk can be stored for 24 hours in a refrigerator and for 4 hours at room temperature, it should be warmed to lukewarm temperature just before feeding. Try to store 2 ‐ 4 oz of milk in a container to avoid wastage.
  • Discuss with the employer about continuing breastfeeding and find out about the facilities available. Identify a small room with a chair and refrigerator where milk can be expressed and stored. Carry the breast pump and sterile bottles to collect the milk.
  • Either breast feed the baby or express before going to work and after returning from work. Express the breast milk at work for 15 ‐ 20 min every 3 ‐ 4 hourly as one would feed the baby. Whenever possible try to breast feed the baby directly. This helps bonding between mother and baby and also for continuity of breastfeeding.
  • If possible try to live near to work place so that travelling time can minimised.
  • Discuss with lactation specialist or a pediatrician before planning to go back to work.
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