Working and Breastfeeding: Making it Work

This topic doesn't apply to me as I don't work outside of the home, but I know a lot of moms do return to work after having their baby so this might be helpful to them.

I am writing the below information from a paper I received from the home nurse that came to see me while I was pregnant, and it was printed off and written from Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, Ameda Products. 

What should you think about before I go back to work?
First, you need to think about your breastfeeding goals. The more mother's milk your baby gets, the better. But breastfeeding doesn't have to be all or nothing. 

Choices include:
- Full breastfeeding. This could mean keeping your baby near you at work or having your baby brought to you for feedings. Some moms use reverse cycle nursing, which means breastfeeding often while at home and working during their baby's longest sleep stretch.
- Pump milk at work for all missed feedings and breastfeed when together.
- Leave both pumped milk and formula for missed feedings.
- Leave formula for missed feedings and breastfeed when together.

Second, you will need to think about finding a caregiver close to work rather than home. This can help reduce travel time, time apart, and your need to pump.

What do you need at work to pump and store your milk?
- Find a place to pump privately.
- Your breast pump
- Breastmilk storage bags or bottles with lids
- Put them in a fridge or freezer you can keep it in til you clock out for the day.

Should you pump and store milk before returning to work?
Yes, most moms usually do this but also keep in mind that the milk you pump one day can be left for your baby the next day. 

After you return to work:
- Remember that drained breasts make milk faster and full breasts make milk slower. Don't go too long (more than 8 hours) without breastfeeding or pumping
- Breastfeed a lot when you're together
- Pump as often as you can at work
- Use a good breast pump
- Keep in mind that "this too shall pass"


  1. Definitely great list of things to do. It was not as bad to pump at work, just remembering to take the milk out of the fridge is top of my list ;)

  2. Great list! Many places are now offering women the opportunity and private space to pump at work, which is amazing!