Breastfeeding & Going Back to Work: My Top Tips
In many ways motherhood has been kicking my ass. Sleep deprivation and, well, sleep deprivation and fear, have pushed me past limits I didn’t even know I had. But then, an important lesson is that you do manage, like most parents, and your life is richer for it.
One department where I have impressed myself by exceeding my own expectations, has been to continue to breastfeed after going back to work. Like most things to do with breastfeeding (or parenthood), I simply had no idea what I was in for. I thought I would perhaps continue for another month or so, but instead I am still breastfeeding (he is now 13 months old) and have only stopped expressing at the office right before going on my Christmas holidays. Yes, his autoimmune disease influenced my decision, but honestly, I feel like I probably would have continued either way. Breastfeeding worked for us, and thanks to my wonderful employer, expressing at the office also worked after much trial and error on my part.
If you are pregnant or still on maternity leave and wondering how to combine your (full time) job with breastfeeding your child - here are my top tips. This list is by no means exhaustive (believe me, I could go on about this for literally hours), and also not prescriptive. It is based on my personal experiences and just intended to be helpful, as I wish I had found a list like this a bit earlier on.
Please do drop any comments, your own experiences, or questions below! Would love to hear your thoughts.
If five weren’t such a nice number, I would have added a number six: make sure you take some time to connect to your baby when you get home from work. Having a cuddle and a quick feed whenever I came home in the evening really helped us to reconnect after a day apart, and helped keep the habit of breastfeeding when I am around alive.
Good luck! You can do this!