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What are the Best Tips for Breastfeeding at Work?

Article Details
  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 17 March 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Unless a woman is able to bring her infant to work with her, which some employers may allow in rare cases, it is most likely that breastfeeding at work will require the use of a breast pump. Any woman who wants to return to work yet continue to breastfeed her infant will need to plan ahead, and some women find it helpful to discuss it with their employers to ensure that the transition back to work is as smooth as possible. Planning ahead by determining where to pump, the different times of day that it will be necessary to do so, and where the milk will be stored are all important factors to keep in mind.

The location where one will breastfeed or use the breast pump at work is important. Women who have personal offices may be able to simply close the door and place a "Do not disturb" sign in order to get privacy while breastfeeding at work; others may find that they need to borrow a vacant office or other room, if they do not have one of their own. Workplaces with a number of female employees may even design rooms especially for this purpose, or may add additional features in a restroom such as a couch and table to make it more comfortable and easier. Be sure there is an electrical plug nearby if using a breast pump for breastfeeding at work.

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It will also be necessary to plan for the type of clothing that will be worn, to make the process easy and convenient. Button down shirts, for example, are easy for breastfeeding at work. If a woman is actually breastfeeding an infant, she will typically also want to use a scarf or blanket for additional privacy. Of course, this is a matter of personal preference, as well as any stated dress code rules in the workplace. Any workplace with uniforms may make breastfeeding at work more difficult.

Storage of the breast milk is another consideration. Some women will choose to store it in a discreet way in an office refrigerator, such as placing the bottles in a small cooler or plastic bag. Others may just keep a cooler with some ice packs in the office. Plan ahead for the times of day as well, in addition to the storage. It will typically be necessary to breastfeed or pump every two to three hours; timing this to coincide with midmorning, lunch, and afternoon work breaks can be most convenient and least disruptive to one's work.

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