Advice about breastfeeding when returning to work with information on expressing breastmilk and bottle feeding your baby.
Many women return to work within a few months or weeks of having a baby. Some choose not to breastfeed because they know they will only have a short time left before returning to work after their baby is born.
It is a really good idea to breastfeed your baby no matter how soon you will need to return to work. The early days and weeks are very important. Breastfeeding for just a short time is better than not feeding at all.
When you do go back to work you might consider expressing milk, so that your baby can have the benefit of breastmilk when you are not there. It may even be possible to have your baby brought to you to be breast fed during the working hours. The law has changed recently to support breastfeeding mothers. It is worth seeking advice from ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) (www.acas.org.uk) to find out your own individual rights.
Another alternative is to give your baby formula milk while you are at work and breastfeed the rest of the time. This can work well and even one breastfeed a day is still beneficial.
If you do plan to give expressed or formula milk you will need to think about how to give it. Some breast fed babies are reluctant to feed any other way.
It is wise to plan ahead. If you intend to give milk by bottle from the time your baby is about three months old it is a good idea to get into the habit of expressing milk two or three times a week. This milk can then be fed to your baby by bottle.
Breast fed babies often prefer a nuk teat, which has been specially designed to feel more natural to the baby. If your baby does not accept a bottle straight away it might be worth trying different teats. It is also a good idea to get someone else to give the bottle, baby's are often most reluctant to take a bottle from his or her own Mum.
From four months your baby will be able to drink from a cup. You may wish to avoid using a bottle and feed your baby it's milk by cup instead. This might also require a bit of practice.
It is best for both you and your baby to be prepared. Going back to work can be very stressful. If you know that your baby can take milk happily when you are not there you may feel better about going back to work.
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