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Breastfeeding - Returning to Work

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The working mother can continue to breastfeed once she returns to work. With a little planning, you will be able to pump milk at work.

  • Decide when you are going back to work and what your schedule will be.
  • Call your supervisor a few weeks before you return to work and let him/her know you will be pumping. If you don’t know, ask about a pumping room, refrigerator for milk and needed breaks.
  • Discuss feeding plan and use of human milk with your day care provider.
  • Two weeks before your return to work, start pumping 2-3 times a day using an electric pump, double set up. Also, begin to offer your baby expressed milk by a bottle from Dad or other caregiver.
  • Use the best pump you can. Double-pumping with an electric pump is the best. These pumps get out the most milk and keep up your supply of milk.
  • Try to pump every time your baby takes a bottle.
  • Buy a small cooler or insulated bag and “blue ice” pack for taking the milk home after work.
  • Milk supply usually decreases for the first week or so after returning to work because of the new schedule. Keep pumping and breastfeeding and your body should adjust.
  • Call your physician, lactation consultant and/or WIC counselor. LaLeche League is also a great resource.
  • Use your fresh milk (usually the milk pumped from the day before). If you find you are using more and more of your frozen milk, consult a lactation consultant for advice and help. 

Disclaimer:This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.

Reviewed: 11/2017

(757) 668-7000