Going back to work after baby is hard.

For every mom.

Breastfeeding or bottle feeding, hard labor or easy, one baby or many -every working mom who has to get up and leave their baby to go back to work is going to face a struggle.

The ping of sadness, the scramble to find good childcare, the phone call to your boss when your baby is sick and you can’t make the 9am meeting you’re supposed to be running. Even if you have the best job with the best boss and the best childcare situation where your partner or grandma get to stay home -every working mom will face these moments where you’re like, BALANCE, BRING ME ALL OF THE BALANCE!

Now, throw in a desire to continue breastfeeding.

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But, rest assured, ladies, it can be done.

Breastfeeding Guide: How to Keep Up When You Go Back to Work

Invest in a Good Pump

If you are going to be doing a lot of pumping you don’t want to rely on one of those hand models -you will have hands like Shaquille O’Neil and basically no time to work. Those cheap ones you can get at Target aren’t going to be much better -the suction is a joke and they don’t work well or consistently for hardcore pumpers. Set aside some real cash while you’re pregnant to invest in a unit that will really work well, long term. Or, consider renting one from your hospital. You may feel like you’re being milked at a dairy farm, but they get the job done.

Start Pumping Early

As soon as you establish your milk supply and have baby committed to breast, start pumping. It is hard to get used to pumping -it takes extra time, it sometimes doesn’t feel as productive as nursing, and it changes your milk production. The sooner you begin learning how to fit in pumping the better it will be for you when you transition to pumping more during the day. Added bonus: you can start to build your milk supply.

Figure Out How to Store

There are few things more sad for a mom than losing breast milk to poor storage. Find the best way to store your liquid gold so you and your baby can benefit from it. If packaged and stored correctly, you breast milk can remain good for up to 12 months in the freezer. It pays to figure this out so you can provide the milk to your baby as long as possible.

Give Your Baby Bottles

Once your baby has established a good latch and milk supply, it is important that you begin to introduce the bottle to your baby. You want them to be accustomed to taking a bottle in addition to nursing so that when you return to work the transition won’t be quite so difficult on them. It may help to have dad or another loved one give baby a bottle instead of doing it yourself -sometimes nursing babies don’t enjoy taking bottles from mom quite as much.

Speak with Your Employer

It is within your rights to take time to pump at work. You can’t be excessive about it, but as an employee, you are entitled to certain rights and protections when it comes to pumping at work. For example, many employers have to provide you ample time and a private space to pump in. Most employers are okay with this, but it helps to speak to your employer when you return to work to let them know what you need. You can learn more about the law here: Break Time for Nursing Mothers.

Looking for additional support? Pop into the mom.life app and ask the moms there.

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