Can I continue breastfeeding after I return to work?
Yes, you can. If you live in a nearby workplace or at a daycare center on site or nearby, you can take a break from nursing time to feed your baby. If this is not possible, there are two options:
Option 1: You can use a high-quality electric breast pump to replenish milk during working days to maintain milk supply. Your child’s nanny can give your baby a bottle of breast milk that you express. (If you can’t produce enough milk, you can also add formula milk.) You can still breastfeed your baby whenever you are not going to work.
Watch this video “Breastfeeding Tips for the Working Mom”(6 mins 36 seconds)
The Protected and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of the United States was signed into law in 2010, requiring employers to provide reasonable pumping breaks and private bathrooms (except bathrooms) for moms of babies under 12 months. (Employers with fewer than 50 employees do not have to comply. If they do, it will cause “unnecessary difficulties.”) For more detailed information, please read this US government fact sheet.
Option 2: If you can’t or don’t want to pump water at work, you can gradually use formula milk at home instead of day feeding, but continue nursing at night and in the morning. But remember, if you do not breastfeed or pump during the day, your milk supply will decrease.
I can’t speak for all women, but when I have to put my 8-week-old baby with myself or someone other than my husband, I am indeed full of fear. Do you know that you feel stomach discomfort when something bad happens? Is it like that dripping stomach? This is how I feel every day for a long time.
It’s like my brain and my body just learned something is wrong. Every time, my heart feels pain for them. My brain knows something is missing (my eyes were crying when I typed). My baby disappeared 56 days after giving birth and my body knew it. This feeling, anxiety, and fear are reactions to their leaving my body and emotions, which is definitely a shock to my system.
Even if I knew it was not right, even if everything in me screamed “No!” I went back because I was a breadwinner and an insurance holder. I am precious to my family and our survival, and we cannot live without my income. This is not our choice, not even for a few weeks. But apart from being a breadwinner, I am also a food source for our babies.
I know that you are taking the break to pump water. I know that you eat while pumping or at work, because you will spend time during your lunch break to make sure your baby has lunch tomorrow. I know that every time you stand up and say “I need to pump water now”, you want to know if this is convenient for your colleagues.
I know you will pick up your pump bag and go to a room that hardly meets the legal requirements set by the government. You will hang a sign on the door-warning people not to enter-they will no doubt still enter. Or maybe you cover yourself and pull into the office or cubicle, while others work by your side.
I know you will milk your own milk until you are full. I know you will follow your baby’s eating habits as much as possible. A 6-week-old baby eats often-very, very frequently. I know that sometimes the milk you go home is not enough to feed your baby. I know you will feel defeated.
I also know that these “right to pump break time” are not paid. Maybe your boss asks you to work overtime at all these gas station jobs, and every time you are eliminated, you need to stay longer. This will only increase the time at the end of your already long day, and even longer, until you take that sweet and warm baby home.
I know you will stand up and announce that you need to cheer. You will hear a series of comments from colleagues: “again?” “How long will you do this?” “Are you still weaning?” “Oh, that’s disgusting. “Does this make you feel like a cow?” “You don’t put milk in the employee refrigerator, do you?” “I wish I could take a break like you.”
I know you will feel inside because all you really want to do is the best thing you can do for you and your children. I know you are eager to have lunch with colleagues again. I know that watching your favorite videos on your phone when you are pumping can really help pumping. I know that the close-up video you took can actually hear the baby’s gasp, and they do cry.
I know that a “good pump” deserves a high five and a hug. I know that a colleague who pumps water will become your new job BFF because she got it. I know that when you get home, the last thing to do is pump water. You want that baby to be held in your arms and uzzled into your neck. You want the big round eyes to look up at you, and the tacky smile when they are still locked. I know that pumping is a labor of love. I know that our full-time mom friend doesn’t understand at all.
I know this will make you feel like another microscope at work. “How many minutes did she smoke there?” “How much rest time did she get?” “How long must we let her do this?” “Have her work done?” “Why can’t she just feed formula?” I know. When you spend the night with that cute baby, you worry about your performance the next day at work, but at the same time, you still cherish those quiet moments. Those moments when no one else is around. It’s dark and calm. You can feed your baby and stroke his hair. Don’t think about how to pull yourself together within three hours of the alarm. I know that dry shampoo and pumping water suits are your best new friends.
I know that coffee makes your world go round. I know that hearing “you look tired” becomes mainstream. I know that mastitis, whitening of nipples and vasospasm are the sons of the B word. Between taking advantage of all paid maternity leave and sick babies, you can never miss any work to take care of these diseases. Even if you do miss your job, no one will understand.
I know how it feels to question your professionalism, and I know you are already worried about how they would even take you seriously when your breast milk leaked from your upper abdomen last week, but the next day you cried for no reason, you Reluctantly maintain the job. I know that you are at the end between doing housework and being a mom, doing things and pumping water.
The question “how do we as women engage in occupations and feed babies?” turned a deaf ear. We wanted a solution and they gave us: “Here is a pump and a room. Your employer will not be able to punish you for smoking. They must legally let you do this, but they don’t have to like it, nor No need to provide convenience for you. Now, if you want, you can resume work 42 days after giving birth.”