Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Breastfeeding Chronicles Part III: The Return of the Mommy

I’m lucky that I got to nurse both of my children. I went for 16 months with my son and 12 with my daughter. I was able to exclusively breastfeed for about six months as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Both of my kids showed all the signs that they wanted solids at around five months. I had to supplement my daughter with formula starting at eight months – I’ll talk about the process of choosing a formula in a different post.
When I returned to work after six months off with my first child (thanks, old boss!), it was a rude awakening to have to pump two to three times a day. I had issues with supply after a few months back on the job, but I worked with a fabulous lactation consultant who helped me out. Some of her tips might sound weird but they worked:
  • Imagine a flowing river of breast milk that is there to feed hungry babies (to this day I just felt a little “ghost” let-down!); 
  • Look at pictures of the baby – I found that playing little movies of the baby with the sound on really helped, too.
One tip that isn’t as weird sounding is to make sure you use a good pump. Because of the Affordable Care Act, pumps are now covered by health insurance. Check with your insurance company on how to get a free rental or new personal pump. It might be a little more work than walking in to a store and buying a pump, but the savings are pretty enticing. I spent $250 on mine (with a coupon) before this was a law.

The building I work in has a private pumping room with a sink, a chair, and a table. The tabloids were fun too – I read more about the Kardashians than I ever wanted too! But I digress.Worksites that offer comfortable, private nursing areas for moms make it more likely that mom will continue to nurse after getting back to the grind. I have a friend who had to pump in her car or in the bathroom when she went back to work. Twice a day, every day, for nine months! Now, a federal law mandates that many employers must provide reasonable break time, and a private place to pump until the child is one year old. And employers, bathrooms don’t count as private pumping spots.
This post concludes the Breastfeeding Chronicles- at least for now. Don't miss The Breastfeeding Chronicles: Prologue, Part I, and Part II in previous posts!

More information on returning to work and breastfeeding:


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