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Breast Feeding for working mothers

Dr. HK
Aug. 3, 2011

Expert Medical Counsellor 

Breast-feeding while working takes careful planning and  determination. Understand that the demands of your job  will be the same even in your special circumstances. If you do not assume the responsibility for your feeding plan, nobody else will. 


If possible take at least two months of leave after childbirth before returning to work. You will need at least this much to completely recover from your child's birth

and establish your milk supply. You also need to become proficient at breast-feeding so that it does not become stressful while working.


A working woman can expect to be away from her baby for up to ten hours.If you want your baby to feed on only breast milk you would need to use breast pumps to store your milk during this time. It will also be quite a challenge to find a suitable place for pumping at your workplace.It will be convenient to use a motorised breast pump rather than a mechanical one as it takes much lesser time and is less stressful.Approximately two to three pumping sessions of half an hour will be required during a full day work schedule.Make sure that you are completely relaxed during the sessions and are not disturbed.This is important to allow your milk to flow freely.

Do remember to keep your breast milk cool.If a refrigerator is not  available at your office, use a thermos flask, filled with chill packs, to store the milk. To relieve soreness place some cool compresses on your breasts. 


Managing employer expectations can be quite challenging for a working mother. An employer will expect the same level of productivity, and the time lost during the pumping sessions may need to be made up by working late or perhaps skipping your lunch break. If your home is near your office you may even want to visit your home during the day to breast feed. Breast feeding is a very relaxing experience for mothers and you would be much more productive at work when you return.


A proper attire at the work place is important part of your professional life.That should not change because you are a nursing mother. Many special clothes are available for nursing mothers in the market.Clothing which is washable and wrinkle-resistant is the best. Avoid solid colored tops. Brightly colored, printed tops will help hide milk stains if your full breasts leak. Also make sure that the clothing is easy to open or can be easily pulled up. Do keep a spare top handy to save embarassment in case of a mishap. 

A cotton nursing bra will support your heavier breasts and prevent sagging and stretch marks. The best ones will have wide straps of fabric, and drop fronts for quick convenience. For best fit buy these after childbirth or towards the very end of pregnancy as breast size changes quite a bit during pregnancy.


The flip side of having an excellent milk supply is leaking breasts. This happens just before feeding or pumping time, or when you are thinking about your baby. A working woman has to be especially inventive to avoid embarrassment.

To stop the milk flow When you feel that your breasts might leak press against your nipples. Cross your arms and press the heel of your hand, or one finger, against the nipple. If you're sitting down, rest your chin in your hand and press your breast into your arm.

Keep extra supplies of breast pads handy or use a diaper, handkerchief, or a sanitary pad to soak up the moisture. Have an extra nursing bra and a top at work in case one gets soaked.


Breast feeding is a wonderful experience for all mothers and we at truly hope that we have been able to make it a little bit more enjoyable and comfortable for you with our tips. Happy nursing!

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