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Breastfeeding and Returning to Work

Planning on breastfeeding as you return to work? Though the process can pose some logistical challenges, there are things you can do to make it easier on yourself. For example, many women find it helpful to learn how to express and store their milk properly before returning to the workplace. Discussing your needs with your boss beforehand will also go a long way in reducing stress.


Start With a Plan

Just because you are planning on going back to work after your maternity leave is up, it doesn't mean you have to stop breastfeeding. But how is this done? Is it really possible? Try not to let all the logistics overwhelm you. Taking it a step at a time and planning ahead can help prepare you for juggling work and breastfeeding successfully.
Many women may decide during their pregnancy that they want to breastfeed after their baby is born. If you know ahead of time, it may be a good idea to talk to your employer about your options. If possible, take as much maternity time as you can to help ensure your breast milk supply is well established. By planning ahead, it can help ease the transition as you return to work.
Although you may not be there to physically breastfeed, you can still provide your baby with the nutrient-rich breast milk that is uniquely designed for his or her needs. The American Academy of Family Physicians, as well as many other public health groups, recommends that infants be breastfed or be given only breast milk for at least the first six months of life, and ideally, breastfeeding should be continued up to at least one year of age (see What's the Big Deal About Breastfeeding?).
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