Heading to work after the birth of your baby? You likely have lots of questions and concerns about how to balance working and breastfeeding. You are not alone! The United States Breastfeeding Committee reports that one-third of working mothers return to work within three months of the birth of their child, and two-thirds return within six months.
Breastfeed Chicago knows that maintaining a successful breastfeeding relationship can be a challenge! It can be difficult to balance working and breastfeeding, but we are here to help you figure it all out! Many barriers and obstacles to breastfeeding and pumping exist in our culture and in our workplaces. We’ve put together a back-to-work series on the most common questions we hear from breastfeeding parents. If you have a question or concern that isn’t addressed here, let us know in the comments and we will do our best to expand this resource!
- What kind of breast pump do I need? Does my insurance cover a pump?
- How do I talk to my employer about a place to pump? What are my rights? What can I do if my coworkers or supervisor give me a hard time about pumping?
Feeding While You’re Away
- How much milk should I have in the freezer by the time I go back to work? Do I need to pump enough for multiple days and weeks of bottles ahead of time for while I am working?
- How much milk should my baby drink while I am gone?
- How do I make sure that my baby’s caregiver doesn’t overfeed my baby? My childcare provider keeps saying that I need to send bigger bottles! Help!
- How do I select the right bottle? What if my baby won’t take it?
Pumping at Work
- How many times a day should I pump at work?
- Where do I store my milk while I am at work?
- Do I have to wash my pump parts every time I use them at work?
- My job requires me to travel for business. Can I bring my breast pump and pumped milk with me through airport security?
- Help! I don’t think I’m pumping enough! How do I pump more milk?
- My baby seems to be waking more at night since I’ve gone back to work. Why is that?
- I hate pumping! What can I do to motivate myself to keep going?
- Help! I forgot my breast pump or an important pump part at home! What do I do?
- My pumped milk has a soapy or metallic taste to it. Is this high lipase and what can I do about it?
- My baby is over a year old – can I stop pumping? If so, how do I do it without getting clogged ducts or mastitis?