You can continue breastfeeding even after you return to work or school. Many women find that some planning ahead makes continued breastfeeding a little easier.
Before Your Return
About three weeks before returning to work or school, buy a high-quality electric breast pump. High-quality pumps don’t have to be expensive or fancy and can often be found for a discount at baby supply stores. Contact your insurance provider to see whether you may be fully or partially reimbursed for your purchase. Women who qualify for WIC or Medicaid may also receive assistance for this purchase.
After buying your breast pump, begin pumping and storing breast milk for future use. Your milk will keep up to a week in a refrigerator, up to six months in a standard freezer, and up to one year in a deep freezer.
Introduce your baby to a bottle about two weeks before returning to work or school. This will give your baby time to get used to the bottle. You may need to try a few brands to determine which bottle your baby prefers.
Starting Work or School
Texas law requires workplaces to provide a private, appropriate place for women to pump. You must also be allowed time during the day to pump. Be sure to locate a refrigerator, or bring ice packs to store your breast milk while you finish the work or school day.
Pump regularly both to maintain your milk supply and avoid plugged ducts and engorgement. When pumping, you may find it useful to look at a picture of your baby, or to hold something that reminds you of your baby to help with milk letdown.
Continue to drink plenty of water, eat healthy, and get as much rest as you can to maintain your milk supply.
When you’re with your baby, you can still breastfeed! This may be a great time to reconnect after several hours apart.