Returning to work after maternity leave may be stressful; you may be used to working from home and breastfeeding your baby. Firstly, there is the concern about being separated from your infant. What will happen when you are back to work; how can you ensure a sufficient supply of milk for your baby?
Secondly, there is the cost of a breast pump to consider. Be sure to check with your insurance provider which types of breast pump are covered in their healthcare plan. Insurers often impose a limit on the products covered in their plan. However, it is a requirement in US law, under the ACA (Affordable Care Act), that insurance companies must cover a breast pump and supplies at no cost to pregnant members, and those who have recently given birth and are breastfeeding.
Here is Limerick's advice for new moms navigating the transition back into the workplace.
How to make it easier to pump while working.
Firstly, aim for seven to fourteen pumping sessions a week, and begin to set aside a stock of milk in the refrigerator. This will help you to feel more confident and relaxed in your first week back at work, knowing you have enough milk already set aside for your baby.
Secondly, babies under six months old will need one ounce per hour when you aren't with your baby. Babies over six months old may need more than this unless they are already eating solid food, in which case one ounce per hour will also be sufficient.
If you feel worried about your baby, imagine your daily timetable and how you can incorporate feeding times or pumping sessions into this.
For instance, if you are separated from your baby for ten hours on your first day back at work, you can aim to pump ten ounces in the two weeks prior to that and freeze them, so that your baby has enough milk for your first Monday back.
The night before your first day back, defrost ten ounces of milk and prepare some bottles. On Monday, pump at the times you would normally breastfeed at home, ideally every three hours. The milk expressed on Monday will provide food for your baby on Tuesday; the milk you pump on Tuesday will feed your infant on Wednesday etc.
Freeze the milk pumped on Friday for the following week. Over the weekend, breastfeed. On Sunday evening, defrost your oldest milk for Monday.
Following this plan will mean your baby has fresh milk each day except Monday, meaning you can relax - which will also help with milk let-down.
If you have more than two weeks to build up a supply of milk before you go back to work, do an extra pumping session each day, and then freeze that milk.
Try to prevent any stress or anxiety - this won't help with milk let-down. Remember that you don't need to fill your refrigerator and/or freezer with breast milk, especially as fresh milk is better when possible. You only need to store enough milk for the first full day away from your baby, and possibly a little more, to cover late nights at work or skipped pumping sessions as life gets busy.
How a Limerick breast pump can help working moms
Purchasing a medical-grade electric breast pump, such as the Limerick Joy or spectra breast pump, can facilitate the transition back to work. Expressing and saving milk is no longer a worry.
The double electric Joy pump has everything a new mom needs to have a productive and relaxed pumping session. The modes of mechanical ventilation make the Joy pump hygienic, preventing bacteria from entering the device. In addition, the suction technique imitates the baby's natural nursing pattern, creating a comfortable experience for mom and improving milk let-down.
The Limerick Joy pump is also comfortable to use. The soft cups adapt to the shape of your breasts, preventing any discomfort in the nipple.
The Joy Essential package includes a cooler with ice packs, so moms can keep their milk stored safely for up to 24 hours without needing to worry about refrigeration. Accessories are also included, like a backpack to carry the pump and the cooler, making traveling easy.
The Joy Executive package includes additional accessories; a lap towel, car charger, and hands-free system.
Finally, remember that communication with your human resources team is important if you have any concerns about breastfeeding while at work, and if you need extra support or accessories for your breastfeeding journey, don’t forget to check out the Limerick Store and Resource Center too.