When Jo Anderson became pregnant, she knew she wanted to breastfeed her baby for as long as possible, even after she went back to work. But when she returned to her job as a public-relations executive in San Diego, she found that continuing to breastfeed was more difficult than she had anticipated. “Finding the time to pump was hard,” says the 37-year-old Anderson. “Even though my employer was understanding and supportive, my job is pretty demanding, and it was tough to get away several times a day for the 20 or so minutes it took to pump.” But Anderson’s work didn’t end there.
If your newborn has at least three yellow stools and six wet diapers a day and is gaining weight properly (1 ounce per day until about 3 months of age), chances are you're producing enough milk and don't need to pump. In fact, pumping when you have an adequate milk supply can be detrimental, says Corky Harvey, M.S., R.N., a certified lactation consultant and co-owner of The Pump Station in Santa Monica and Hollywood, Calif. Heres why: If you produce so much that your baby doesn't take it all in a feeding, the unreleased milk can lead to clogged ducts or mastitis.
For many nursing moms, returning to work after a cozy maternity leave can bring on major angst: How will I ever fit pumping into my already hectic workday? What if my baby won't take a bottle? Aren't breast pumps too complicated to deal with? The emotional transition from round-the-clock breastfeeding and bonding to pumping 9-to-5 can be tough, but with a little planning and this back-to-work primer, you'll be prepared to tackle the logistics of continued breastfeeding--and your baby will reap the rewards for years to come.
What if you have an all-day meeting? What if you can't find time to pump? Having a plan in place to deal with some common roadblocks will help you ease through your workday as a breastfeeding mom.
What if ...
You have an off-site meeting?
Do some preliminary investigation. Does the meeting locale have spare conference rooms? Are there hotels or department stores in the area that may have a comfortable ladies lounge? If not, find an empty bathroom stall.