Pediatrician - New Port Richey
2044 Trinity Oaks Boulevard Suite 235
New Port Richey, FL 34655
(727) 375-5437

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By Dr. Thuy Pham
June 07, 2016
Category: Breastfeeding
One of the greatest challenges new mothers face is returning to work and continuing to breastfeed. Over the years I have watched the gradual improvement in resources and support for working mothers, from the availability of a portable double electric pump, to a hands free bra, to informative nursing blogs and web sites. We owe it to strong, determined and dedicated women who have carved the way and made it easier for the next generation. Pumping in the work place is not just a privilege, it has become a right.
 
We all know the unique nutritional benefits of breastmilk. However, for me the most compelling reason why I continued to nurse each of my 3 children, including my twin sons until they were 2, was the joy of coming home and feeling immediately relaxed and connected with them when I sat down to nurse. I still remember clearly how each child would reach out for me, the eager look in their eyes, the warmth and softness of their skin.  Breastfeeding was an offering of love, a gift of nutrition and comfort that I alone could provide. This special feeling of closeness was the fuel that motivated me to let my baby nurse on demand with unlimited frequencies at home and pump every 3-4 hours at work. Frequent emptying of the breast helped me maintain my milk supply so that I did not need to give our baby any formula supplements during the first year.
 
What are the key ingredients successful breastfeeding and working?
 
  1. Establish an abundant milk supply early on and prior to returning to work.
  2. Acquire a quality double electric pump. Most insurance companies will cover the costs with a prescription from your doctor and your due date.
  3. Be an expert at hand expressing and pumping. Start pumping 2 weeks before returning to work. Your right to pump at work until your baby turns 1 is protected by the Affordable Care Act.
  4. Be prepared to nurse more frequently when you are home in the evening, during the night and on the weekends. ( Keep it simple: the more you nurse, the less you have to pump)
  5. Make plans early on with your child care provider. Have an ample supply of stored breast milk ready. If you can give  what you pump the day before then you are able to meet your baby demand.
  6. A hands free bra makes pumping easier.
  7. Involve your partner, family and friends. Join breastfeeding support group in the community or on line. Nursing is more than providing food. It is a way of life.
  8. Nurture yourself. You will have to cut back on other activities and take naps to make up for your lack of sleep.
 
Nursing was not easy for me in the beginning. There were tears of pain, fatigue and overwhelming stress. Somehow it all worked out in the end. I am grateful for the support of my family and the breastfeeding community. I owe it to you, all the dedicated mothers who did their very best to nurture their child. You inspire me to help other nursing mothers. Whether you are able to nurse for one day, one year or longer, I applaud your effort.
 
Dr. Thuy Pham , IBCLC
 

 

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