Working and Breastfeeding
I often get email questions from parents, many of them have a similar theme, I’m going to publish a number of my responses here. This one was from a former client, who had questions about returning to work at the end of the Canadian maternity leave which happens around 12 months post partum. It was prompted by the 2015 World Breastfeeding Week theme: BREASTFEEDING AND WORK: LET’S MAKE IT WORK!
Q: Hi Lee-Ann! I was happy to hear that your theme of the year is about helping moms manage breastfeeding while working. I’ve started transitioning back to work & could definitely use some tips. Do you have any resources you could share?
A: Thanks for contacting me, did you have any specific concerns?
Q: Well one of my concerns is whether I need to leave milk for B at daycare. He’s 10 months old, still feeding on demand along with eating 2-3 meals a day. He’s in daycare starting next week for 6 hours/day, 5 days a week. I was at an LLL meeting last month; they mentioned that some moms don’t leave any milk (for a full 8-9 hr day) and the baby just makes up for it when they are with the mom. Is this more appropriate for babies a year and older? I only have a manual pump right now so it’s quite a lot of work to pump just a few oz.
A: This is true for babies of B’s age, and older. You will need to express at work for the first little while to help your body adjust and prevent engorgement.
So if you don’t want to pump to supply Blake with milk for daycare, you should just express to comfort and your production will down regulate to meet the changes.
Q: Ok thanks! Will he ultimately be getting less milk overall then he is now then? I was under the impression he would still get the same amount just during a concentrated part of the day. Do you recommend this method or is it best for him to get milk throughout the day?
A: Usually babies do what is called “reverse cycling” and get most of their milk through the night. This works well if you are co-sleeping, as you can sneak in missed cuddles as well as feeds. If you are worried about his milk intake he can have cow milk at daycare. He is old enough to have a straw cup or regular cup and doesn’t need a bottle. Also calcium and Vitamin D needs can be met without cow milk.
La Leche League Canada has an excellent blog post on this topic and can be a great place for support for parents returning to the workforce. ~Lee-Ann