Preparing to Go Back to Work
The follow tips are also relevant to stay-at-home-mommies who need to leave their babies to go out some time.
1. Don’t Introduce the Bottle Too Late
Let me repeat : do not introduce the bottle in the first month to prevent ‘nipple preference’ or ‘nipple confusion’.
Now, after breastfeeding is established, don’t wait too long to start introducing the bottle. Otherwise, you will be faced with another problem – bottle rejection. Babies may start rejecting the bottle from as early as 6 weeks. Start with 1 bottle feed a day only to keep direct feeding going, and gradually increase the number of bottle feeds towards the end of your maternity leave. Stay-at-home-moms may want to continue with a bottle a day.
When you start to bottle feed your baby, remember to consistently give the bottle everyday. Otherwise, you baby may forget how to drink from the bottle and still reject the bottle later on.
2. Get a Good Pump
Generally, an electric pump is much easier to use and more efficient than a manual pump. However, you may prefer a manual pump and you may be quite good at it too. Some women even do without the pump and just express by hand.
However, generally speaking, it is worth the money to invest in a good pump. Pumping at work is not easy. It takes a lot of determination to overcome the hurdles of busy work schedule, lack of suitable place for pumping, stress and swindling supply, or plain human laziness. Don’t add another hurdle to the list by using an unsuitable pump.
3. Start Stashing Up EBM
Start pumping and keeping a stash of EMB before you actually go back to work. This way you won’t be too stressed about meeting supply in the initial days of going back to work.
Coping At Work
1. Pump at work
To give your breasts enough stimulation and to keep the supply up, you must persistently pump at work, at least 2 -3 times a day, even if it is “pump and dump”.
2. Try Tandem Pumping
To avoid stressing over pumping enough at work for your baby, trying tandem pumping. You will need to start doing it during your maternity leave to build up the supply because essentially, you are training your breasts to produce enough milk for twins, and supply takes time to build up.
Basically, this is what you do : every time you feed your baby on one breast, simultaneously pump on the other breast. Your baby’s sucking will quickly give you a good let down and you will be able to express a good amount of milk easily.
Hence, if on the average you feed your baby 8 times a day and out of the 8 times, 4 are direct feeds, during the direct feeds, you would have expressed 4 extra feed to supply for the 4 indirect feeds. On top of that, you will still need to pump at work to keep up the supply and the amount of milk you pumped out at work can further top up the expressed breast milk supply. By doing this, you are taking away the stress over the need to express enough at work for your baby.