Your Pregnancy After 35 : Back to Work (part 4) - Breastfeeding and Work

- Give Up Coffee For Beautiful Breasts
- Welcome to your First Trimester
- Welcome to your Second Trimester
- Welcome to your Third Trimester

Managing Your Time

Time is a limited resource; learning to manage your time well is the secret to relishing this busy time in your life. Make a daily plan and stick to it. Do what you can and delegate some responsibilities to others. Change your expectations if you need to. After that, concentrate on the baby, your partner and other important people in your life. Let less important things go. Enjoy the moment!

Can You Modify Your Work Situation?

After having a baby, some women decide to continue working outside the home but not full-time or not at their old schedule. You may be happier if you can find a way to work part-time or if you can adapt your schedule in some other way. There may be ways to modify your current work situation so everyone is happy—you, your boss, your partner and your baby.

If you want to work part-time, you may be able to share a job with someone else in the company who would also like to work part-time. Ask your employer.

Find out if flextime programs are available at your workplace. You may be allowed to modify your work schedule (for example, work four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days). Or you may come in early and leave early, or arrive and leave later. You may be able to set your own schedule, as long as you get your work done.

You might be able to work at home part-time or full-time. Many companies allow some employees to work at home.

If you work part-time or flextime, childcare may be harder to find. With some centers, you pay by the week, whether your child is there or not. An in-home care provider may need the money that only full-time work offers. But some centers are more flexible than others, and some in-home care providers may be delighted at the prospect of a lighter schedule.

Breastfeeding and Work

You don’t have to stop breastfeeding when you return to work, but you may need to make adjustments. If you breastfeed exclusively, you will need to pump your breasts or arrange to see your baby during the day. You may nurse your baby at home and provide expressed breast milk or formula for your care provider to give baby when you’re away.

One way to smooth the back-to-work transition for you and baby is to begin storing breast milk a couple of weeks before you return to work. Use an electric breast pump to express milk between feedings for about 2 weeks before you return to work. Don’t start sooner—you may produce too much milk. A breast pump with a double-pumping feature empties both breasts at once.

Freeze expressed milk in a variety of quantities from 1 to 4 ounces. This gives the caregiver options as to how much to thaw for a particular feeding.

You might also pump and store breast milk while you’re at work. You may be uncomfortable if you don’t pump your breasts because your milk continues to come in. Take a breast pump with you, and refrigerate or freeze breast milk after you pump it.

If you remain at home until your baby is between 4 and 6 months old, baby may be able to skip the bottle and start drinking from a cup. Earlier than 4 months, your baby will need to learn to drink from a bottle.

If You Stay Home

You may decide to stay home with your baby. If you do, the change from leaving the house each day to staying at home can be dramatic. You may find being at home isn’t as easy as you thought it would be. Staying home may mean less companionship, less money and the loss of routine.

Try to anticipate some of these changes and meet them halfway. Don’t bury yourself in motherhood and exclude all other activities. Make an effort to get out, meet people and get involved in new experiences with your baby. Consider joining an exercise class designed for new mothers and babies; the YWCA and similar organizations frequently offer classes.

If you have worked full-time, you may not have met many people in your neighborhood. Once you’re home full-time, you’ll have an opportunity to make friends. If other new mothers are in the neighborhood, you might start an infant play group that meets once or twice a week. Take turns hosting. Babies play, and moms talk!

Stay in touch with your colleagues at work. Drop in to see them, or go out to lunch with a group. See what they are up to, and stay on top of what is happening in your field.

- Your Pregnancy After 35 : After Baby’s Birth (part 10) - Handling the Baby Blues, Dealing with More Serious Forms of PPDS
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : After Baby’s Birth (part 9) - Different Degrees of Depression, Causes of Postpartum Distress Syndrome
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : After Baby’s Birth (part 8) - After-Pregnancy Changes, Postpartum Distress Syndrome
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : After Baby’s Birth (part 7) - Introducing Baby to Brothers and Sisters, Get Dad Involved, Feeding Your Baby
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : After Baby’s Birth (part 6) - Recovery from a Cesarean Delivery, Birth Control after Pregnancy, Resuming Sexual Relations
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : After Baby’s Birth (part 5) - Tubal Ligation, Exercise after Pregnancy, Recovery from a Vaginal Birth
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : After Baby’s Birth (part 4) - Postpartum Warning Sings, Your Emotions, Bonding with Your
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : After Baby’s Birth (part 3) - Breast Changes, Headaches, Pain in the Perineum, Vaginal Discharge
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : After Baby’s Birth (part 2) - Changes in Your Uterus, Bleeding after Delivery, Bowel Movements
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : After Baby’s Birth (part 1) - What Happens to You after Baby Is Born?
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