Making It Work
Working and Breastfeeding
From: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 12 No. 2, March-April 1995
We provide articles from our publications from previous years for reference for our Leaders and members. Readers are cautioned to remember that research and medical information change over time.
"Making It Work" is a regular feature of the magazine NEW BEGINNINGS, published bimonthly by La Leche League International. In this column, suggestions are offered by readers of NEW BEGINNINGS to help mothers who wish to combine breastfeeding and working. Various points of view are presented. Not all of the information may be pertinent to your family's lifestyle. This information is general in nature, and not intended to be advice, medical or otherwise.
I am trying to decide if I can manage breastfeeding and my job. It all sounds so complicated. Some friends told me that formula-feeding is the easier method. However, I know breast milk is better for my baby. How can I make the transition back to work as easy as possible for both myself and my baby?
Since my first experience with breastfeeding was with an electric pump for a premature baby, I never thought about expressing my milk at work as anything but a labor of love for a baby who needed the very best--her mother's milk. I went back to work as a veterinary technician when my daughter was six weeks old. Although I was very busy, I found time to express milk with a manual pump.
I joined La Leche League when Crystal was fourteen months old and learned even more about the benefits breastfeeding has to offer. I can't imagine how using formula could be easier than breastfeeding, especially in the evening when I am tired from a long day at work. Since we have a family bed, I don't even get up at night.
Newville PA USA
I also wondered about breastfeeding my second baby as I prepared to go back to work. I had weaned my first child before going back and knew that I didn't want to do that again. I set my mind on doing what was best for my son and began pumping twice a day at work. (I was a school nurse and had access to a quiet, private place to pump.) I usually nursed my son before I left him at the sitter's and then again as soon as I picked him up in the afternoon. The sitter gave him two bottles of expressed breast milk each day. Fortunately, I never had to supplement with formula.
This was not easy, but we did it! He nursed exclusively until he was six months old. My son is now almost fourteen years old, and I am thrilled to have given him such a healthy start in life.
I am currently a childbirth instructor and certified breastfeeding educator for Women's Health Services at a local hospital here in Texas. I encourage every mother I come in contact with to breastfeed as long as possible because it truly is the best there is for our precious babies.
Corpus Christi TX USA