For the average family, especially the average urban family, it is getting more and more difficult to survive on one parent’s paycheck. Inversely, it is getting more and more common for mothers to enter the workplace. Naturally, that comes with its own challenges. The biggest challenge of all is when the mother just gave birth.
A mother’s first priority is the health of her child or children. A working mother has a dilemma along with that priority. If she does not work, she can be with her baby and breastfeed exclusively. However, the family will not be able to maintain the lifestyle they want. Here are 3 tips to healthy breastfeeding for the working mother.
Set Your Feeding Schedule
You might be breastfeeding exclusively for the first few months, or you simply need to transition back to work. Whichever it is, be aware of the number of times you need to be feeding your baby in a day. For the first month or so, you will need to feed your baby around 8 to 12 times a day. The feeding times will lessen as baby grows.
Write and set a specific feeding schedule to follow, and follow it. If you cannot be around your baby at certain feeding times, use a breast pump anyway and express milk so your schedule will not be thrown off. In that way, you can still breastfeed your baby at the times you need to within baby’s regular schedule. You will have enough milk for every time baby needs to feed.
Hire a Lactation Consultant
A working mother has enough stress on her hands preparing food for everyone, cleaning up the house, and making sure her newborn baby gets to eat. One thing she should definitely have support in is breastfeeding itself. Lactation consultants are that support–legal, emotional, clinical, and more. They should be IBCLCs (International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants), with that title after their names.
Lactation consultants can advise you as to your rights, especially in the workplace. For example, under the Affordable Care Act, working mothers should be allowed time to express milk in a clean and isolate place (that is not the bathroom). If you do not know details like that, you may suffer unnecessarily or be taken advantage.
Breastfeed Whenever Possible
Breastfeeding is more than just a biological phenomenon. Breastfeeding gives babies necessary immunities, is absorbed faster by baby’s body, and forges a bond between mother and baby. These physical and psychological results are one of the best power-ups in life a person can have, and it is best if you breastfeed as much as possible to give your baby the best chance in life he or she can have.
Breastfeeding for the Working Mother: Worth the Effort
One thing working mothers constantly struggle with is guilt. They feel like they need to be with their babies, that they are terrible mothers for leaving their babies with someone else. Breastfeeding is one of the few things only a mother can do with her baby. Grab this chance to spend quality time with baby, and let go of the guilt.