Planning ahead for your return to work can help ease the transition. Learn as much as you can before the baby’s birth, and talk with your employer about your options. Planning ahead can help you continue to enjoy breastfeeding your baby long after your maternity leave is over.
Take a breastfeeding class, which may be offered at the hospital where you plan to deliver your baby. These classes offer tips on returning to work and continuing to breastfeed.
- Join a breastfeeding support group to talk with other moms about breastfeeding while working.
- Watch these videos of moms who successfully breastfed, including after returning to work.
- Talk with your boss about your plans to breastfeed before you go out on maternity leave.
- Encourage your boss to visit the Supporting Nursing Moms at Work: Employer Solutions site to get tips and solutions for supporting nursing mothers at work in all different types of workplaces.
- Discuss different types of schedules with your boss, such as starting back part-time at first or taking split shifts. For tips on talking to your boss, read the Business Case for Breastfeeding.
- Learn about your rights under the federal Break Time for Nursing Mothers law. The law requires some employers to provide reasonable break time for employees to express milk for their nursing child for 1 year after their child’s birth. These include a functional space and time for women to express milk each time they need to.
- Find out if your company offers a lactation support program for employees.
- Talk to other women at your company. Ask the lactation program director, your supervisor, the wellness program director, the employee human resources office, or other coworkers if they know of other women who breastfed after returning to work.
- Explore child care options. Find out whether a child care facility close to where you work is available, so that you can visit and breastfeed your baby during lunch or other breaks. Ask whether the facility has a place set aside for breastfeeding mothers. Make sure the facility will feed your baby with your pumped breastmilk.
What are some challenges that you need help overcoming while on you prepare to return to work?
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