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Back To Work Pumping Tips

Back To Work Pumping Tips

Many mothers breast feed their infants when they are born and then change them over to formula when their maternity leaves ends and they need to go back to work. However, not only are babies healthier when breast fed as long as possible and it is possible for working mothers to continue to supply breast milk for their infants and still work a full time job. Here are some tips for breast feeding mothers when they return to work.

Before you returned

Make the decision to pump breast milk before or right after the baby is born

By planning ahead, you can get the breast pump and all of the accessories you need before your baby is born. Now, you don’t find yourself rushing around a day or two before work to get everything you need.

Prepare Your Milk Bag in Advance

Your milk/Pump bag should contain a pump, tubing, 2 or 3 sets of accessories (flanges, attachments, and membranes), milk storage bags, labels and felt pen to date the milk you pump. Burp cloth, Breast wipes to clean your breast after pumping, photo of baby, and if there is no place to store milk at work (a refrigerator you can use) then you will need a cooler and several ice packs. But bear in mind with the storage guideline and try to work around the schedule and the resources you have.

Start Saving up Milk Before Returning to Work

Once your infant is two or three months of age, you should begin pumping one extra time during the day and storing the milk in the freezer so that you begin to build up a supply of milk. Our wide range of lactation bakes can help you boost your milk supply along with the food list you can follow to find your magic booster.

Talk to Your Employer about what you need to pump at work

At a minimum you need a private room to use about 3 times a day with good lighting and electricity and a comfortable chair and a table to sit the pump on. If your office doesn’t provide a nursing room, look around for any available nursing rooms around your vicinity.

Have a Practice Work Day

Before you return to work you should have a practice day in order to make sure you are prepared for pumping at work. Try and practice doing what you would do once you return to work including taking your baby to day care, feeding them before taking them and after the work day, in the evening, and before bed and then pumping on scheduled breaks during the day.

Pumping as close to your babies drinking timing

Your pumping schedule should follow your babies normal eating schedule as close as possible. Keeping your schedule close to your infants normal eating schedule will help slow leaking and help to ensure the steady supply of milk and more comfort when pumping.

You Need to Maintain your milk supply 

You need to do everything you can to maintain to supply your milk supply including nursing your infant whenever you can. Getting in as many breast feedings as possible since the baby feeding will help you maintain your milk supply. It is also important that you maintain your pumping schedule even if you only have a few minutes to pump because this will help to keep the milk flowing as well. Try your very best not to skip a pumping session. Do some power pumping if you have time.

Enlist help

To ease the transition, have another person (husband or partner, babysitter, grandparent) offer your expressed milk to your baby. Ideally, you should introduce the bottle or nipple no sooner than four weeks of age to ensure your supply is established, or at least two weeks before you return to work.

Once You Have Returned

Timing is everything

Know when to pump and when to breastfeed. Feeding your baby at the breast is ideal to keep up your supply and nurture them – so plan ahead for that precious time. And remember to pump when you are away from your baby so your body gets the regular stimulation it needs to keep up your supply.

Plan when and where

Breastfeed just before you leave, when you return and before baby’s bedtime. You may have to wake up earlier to get ready and still have time to nurse. You can nurse right when you return, depending on your schedule and when your caregiver has given the expressed milk. Feeding at the breast is the best way to drain your breasts and trigger more milk production so you may need to remind your caregiver not to feed your baby just before you return.

Take a deep breath

This will become second nature to you and your baby. We know that being a working, breastfeeding mom is not an easy task, but it’s well worth it.  We’re also here to support you, so check in with us if you need some extra guidance. We are not LC, but as a mom, we have our fair share of experiences (laughs)

Always Pack Your Milk/Pump bag the night before

Keep a checklist of what you need and refer to it when checking your bag. In addition, you might want to keep a spare set of accessories at work to use in an emergency in case your forget an attachment or flange. Wet hand wipes; Extra clothing, such as a top or sweater, to leave at work in case of leaks; Nursing pads;

Pumping mummies are hungry mummies

Snacks and lunch, including high protein healthy foods and drinks to keep you hydrated.

While providing your baby with breast milk once you return to work may pose a few logistical problems. However, they can be overcome by following these tips and now, who says going back to work is hard?

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My Baby is always hungry

My baby is always hungry (or is she?)

One of the most common concerns I hear from parents is that they say their baby is always hungry. Often these parents question whether or not their baby is getting enough to eat, and breastfeeding moms may begin to question if they are making enough breastmilk. However, parents can be comforted to know that frequent feedings are often the way of it with babies- newborns in particular.

Little baby = little tummy = drinks small amount = Little tummies need filling more frequently.

Breastfed Newborns and Cluster Feeding

So, let’s start at the beginning. Cluster feeding, also known as bunch feeding, is when your little baby feeds several times over a period of a few hours. More often than not, cluster feedings appear in the evening hours. These bunched feedings serve the purpose of ramping up mom’s milk supply and also tanking up your baby on the nutrition that she needs. This is also why Power Pumping mimics cluster feedings and served as an important tool to increase milk supply.

What you need to realise is that

1) cluster feedings are completely normal,

2) they serve an important purpose in breastfeeding, and

3) thankfully, your baby will grow out of them (though they can reappear during periods of baby growth spurts.)

Bottle-fed Newborns and Spitting Up

Parents are often surprised to know that, generally speaking, newborns only need about 1 to 2 ounces of formula per feeding. Depending on the amount in the bottle, they may need to be fed anywhere from 8 to 12 times in 24 hours.

If you notice that your baby is spitting up excessively, then a sound suggestion is to decrease the amount of milk in the bottle but increase the number of bottles you offer in a day.

Understanding Baby Hunger Cues

Sometimes the problem is that parents are mistaking every fuss and whimper to be a sign that their baby is hungry.
Babies fuss for all sorts of reasons.

  1. They are tired.
  2. They are bored.
  3. They are overstimulated.
  4. They are uncomfortable.
  5. They pooped.
  6. They are having tummy ache
  7. They are too hot
  8. They are too cold
  9. They need comfort
  10. The list goes on and on.

Sometimes what parents need to do is be sure that something else is not causing the crying, and use different strategies to calm their fussy baby. All babies are different, and have different little ways of letting their parents know that they are hungry. Therefore as you and your baby gets to know one another, you will soon recognise your baby’s way of letting you know that that they are hungry.

However here are some of the typical hunger cues.

Common infant hunger cues include:

Early
  • Smacking or licking lips
  • Opening and closing mouth
  • Sucking on lips, tongue, hands, fingers, toes, toys, or clothing
  • Rapid eye movement while sleeping
Active
  • Rooting around on the chest of whoever is carrying him
  • Trying to position for nursing, either by lying back or pulling on your clothes
  • Fidgeting or squirming around a lot
  • Hitting you on the arm or chest repeatedly
  • Fussing or breathing fast
Late
  • Moving head frantically from side to side
  • Crying

Crying. Every baby is different so, a mother needs to learn to interpret her own baby’s cry ( you will know ). A hunger cry is usually short, low-pitched, and rises and falls. But crying is actually one of the later signs of hunger. By the time a hungry baby is wailing, she may be too stressed to start eating easily.

Waking up and acting restless. Before your baby launches into a full-throated hunger wail, she’ll wake up and move around in her crib. She may also move her mouth and raise her hands to her face.

Sucking on her fist, smacking her lips. If you feed a breast-fed baby when you see these signs, rather than waiting, she’ll latch on more easily.

Rooting. During your baby’s first weeks, when you stroke her cheek, her natural reflex will be to turn toward the bottle or breast and make sucking motions with her mouth. After 4 months of age, rooting becomes a voluntary action rather than a reflex.

Opening her mouth while feeding. Translation: “More, please!” A hungry baby may continue to show interest in sucking even after finishing the first breast or bottle.

Smiling during feeding. Babies older than 4 months will show their interest in continuing to eat by looking at you and smiling as they feed.

Signs That Your Baby Is Full

Closing lips. Just as a hungry baby suckles readily, a full baby zips her lips, as if to say, “No more, thanks.”

Turning her head away. A more forceful version of closing her lips is to move her entire head away from the food source. If your baby turns away from your breast or a bottle, you shouldn’t force her to eat.

Decreasing or stopping sucking. Some full babies will stay latched on to the nipple but not suck any more—at which point, it’s time to gently end the session.

Spitting out the nipple or falling asleep when full. After about 15 to 20 minutes of feeding, a full baby will often act drowsy and may even fall asleep.

Showing increasing interest in surroundings rather than eating. At around 4 months old many babies begin to get distracted during feedings, as their awareness of the world around them grows. A hungry baby will put this curiosity on hold long enough to feel sated. When she begins looking around more distractedly, it’s a sign she’s had plenty.

 

How Often Should Baby Be Fed?

Until your baby has regained her birthweight, the recommendation is to feed about every two hours. Keeping in mind that cluster feeding is normal, and breastfeeding more frequently than that is okay. Demand feeding which is the practice of feeding a baby when it cries to be fed rather than at set times is recommended as well.

Hungry Babies and Solid Foods

Once your baby is eating solid foods (sometime between 4 to 6 months), again you need to tune into her cues to determine if she is hungry or not. These cues can be subtle. Your baby will turn his head away, lean back in his high chair, may refuse to open his mouth, or has stopped making eye contact with you (or the spoon!).

Your baby’s appetite will vary from meal to meal and from day to day. Do not bank that your baby will eat a certain amount at every breakfast, lunch or dinner. Simply watch your baby’s signs and feed him accordingly.

The Importance of Wet Diaper Counts

A very important part of knowing whether your baby is getting enough breastmilk or formula is to keep track of her daily wet diapers. Depending on your baby’s age, she should have a certain number of wet diapers and soiled diapers each day. If that number drops below the expected amount, it could be a sign that she is not getting enough to eat.

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Milk Bath

breastmilk bath

Breastmilk is often used for purposes other than eating. It works great on cuts and scrapes, on cradle cap, diaper rash, sore nipples, etc. If you have extra slash of milk and you have no idea what to do with it, We have a great idea for you!

MILK BATH!

To milk bath your baby

1) Add 240ml of breastmilk to one bathtub of warm water
2) Soak baby in
3) Play with baby / Let baby enjoy the bath supervised
4) Rinse!

Tada!

My little one has episodes of eczema and after soaking her in milk bath, her condition gradually became better. Bathing baby in milk is great as milk contains moisturizing fats in milk, it may help to calm redness from a sunburn or to reduce some of the dryness and itching caused by skin conditions such as xerosis or eczema [source: WebMD]. However, if you are concerned about a skin condition that isn’t clearing up, you should consult your dermatologist before trying to treat yourself with a milk bath.

ENJOY!