Parenting

Seamless breastfeeds in a 9-6 office routine: Yes! I did it…

Dr Reetika Inderjeet Juneja
Pregnancy

Created by Dr Reetika Inderjeet Juneja
Updated on Dec 13, 2017

Seamless breastfeeds in a 9 6 office routine Yes I did it

Returning to work right after having a baby is a difficult task for a nursing mother. It is advised that mothers should stay as close to the baby as possible during the first few months. However, in some nuclear families, there is a greater dependence on dual income. That was the case with me as well. Due to increased expenses, I had to get back to work sooner than I had planned. I know of course that financial constraints are not the only reason for a new mom to get back to work. It is, of course, a matter of choice.

The issue is not getting back to work. The dilemma that most new moms face is how to continue breastfeeding in such cases. To ensure the baby is fed even when they are away, most moms tend to start weaning their babies off the habit of breastfeeding. I, however, did not want to take that route and chose to continue breastfeeding my son (Mannan, 2.7-years-old) even after I got back to my 9 to 6 work life.

I was aware of the many advantages of breastfeeding for both the mother and the baby, and there was no way I would deprive my child of the super benefits of breast milk.

Accomplishing that, however, was a problem in itself. Considering how far my office was from my home, it just wasn’t possible to keep coming back home to feed him multiple times a day. There was also no crèche nearby that I could put Mannan in. That was when I was introduced to a breast pump! And what a lifesaver it turned out to be!

In the morning, I would pump and store milk for a couple of feeds enough to keep my boy healthy and full until evening. That, of course, didn’t mean I stopped breastfeeding him altogether. I ensured that I breastfed him before going to work, taking care of his nutrition and the precious bonding time that I got with him.  

Moreover, when I got back home in the evening, I would immediately feed him again. And that delightful “My mommy is back” look on his face meant the world to me. I can’t describe that feeling in words.

I never expected one simple product to change my life to such an extent. The breast pump brought with it a sense of freedom, without compromising on my baby’s health in the slightest. In fact, it had an added benefit, as I found that the more I expressed, the more breastmilk I could produce. I had kept my promise to myself. Mannan would never be deprived of the most vital nutrition in his first six months.

Today, that’s my No.1 advice to every expecting mom. Please make sure to invest in a good breast pump. It will change your life. Of course, the other part is - how to choose a good breast pump. The market is literally overflowing with options and it’s easy to make the wrong choice, which might completely ruin your experience.

Look out for the below factors when choosing between pumps:

  1. Depending on your usage, select a manual or electric pump. If you have to express 1-2 times only, go for a manual version while if you want to express multiple times, buy an electric pump.
  2. Use a pump that is designed with your comfort in mind. Look for soft silicone covers on the expression cup which would be gentle on your breast.
  3. A breast pump should enable you to lean back comfortably and express. If its design makes you lean forward, it will end up hurting your back.
  4. An electric breast pump should have stimulation and expression modes and not a single setting. It should mimic actual breastfeeding as closely as possible.

A few other tips that helped me out quite a bit are as follows:

  1. Ensure you have a balanced and healthy diet to have proper milk supply. Get advice from your doctor or Lactation Consultant on a good diet
  2. Don’t stop breastfeeding your child, even if you are expressing. Babies need the comfort of the touch of their mother’s skin and it helps relax the mother as well. Remember, the more relaxed and stress-free you are, the more milk you can produce
  3. Storing milk in the freezer in advance is a good idea. Remember to thaw and warm it properly before you feed your baby. Never refreeze thawed out milk. Discard whatever could not be used. Don’t worry, you will easily produce more.

Nowadays, most offices have nursing rooms where a new mom can go, pump milk and store it in the fridge. So, when you are travelling back home, you can carry the milk in a cooling bag and refrigerate it again. However, if you don’t have the option of expressing milk in your office, try to do it early morning and midnight - so that your baby can have at least two feeds when you are not at home. Later on, when your tiny one turns about 6.5 months-old, you can start with one meal along with breastmilk. These little things helped me have a smooth second inning at work without compromising on my child’s nutrition and health. I hope this article will help you too.

***

Disclaimer: Philips AVENT supports 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding for babies.

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| Jan 31, 2018

good to have shared this.

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| Jan 31, 2018

Many at times my friends have also asked not to store th breast milk they say its best to have it expressed at the time of baby having it.

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| Jan 31, 2018

This seems to be a great product.. Thanks for sharing

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| Dec 18, 2017

Agatha Suantak Haokip we get specific container in market to store breast milk. Pls use those containers. May be using of simple container is spoiling the milk. And express milk n keep in fridge. Whenever needed ask ur nani not to reheat it. Just boil water in a tumbler and keep the required amount in glass or bottle and then put that utensil in that hot water to make the milk lukewarm.

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| Dec 18, 2017

Hi Tanisha Khanna reheating of breast milk is not at all recommended. What you can do is express milk n keep the bottle or container in fridge. When you need to give the milk to baby then you can just boil water in a pan and keep moving bottle or glass wd ur expressed milk in that hot water. The milk will automatically become warm. Check the temp whatever suits ur baby and then gv the milk to baby.

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| Dec 18, 2017

Hi Agatha, do you trust your nanny and is your daughter sucking on your breast when you come home?

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| Dec 14, 2017

I am also a working mom and I use to pump out the milk for my princess before leaving for office but I learn from our nanny that my daughter refuse to have it. what can be the reason of her refusal?

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| Dec 13, 2017

@Tanisha heating of the milk is nt recommended.

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| Dec 13, 2017

Its very useful thing to have. I wish I had an exposure to those in my time.

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| Dec 13, 2017

Can I heat the frozen breast milk because somewhere I read that breast milk is not to be heated it can be brought to a room temperature? Please help.

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| Dec 13, 2017

I really wish all of this was available when I was nursing my two monsters. But I guess I will have to wait till I become a grandmom now. Beautiful write-up Reetika.

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