Mother’s milk is the best nutrition for your baby. Learn to pump, collect, and store breast milk. You can continue to give your baby breast milk when you return to work. Find a lactation consultant, also called a breastfeeding expert.
Take time for you and your baby to learn and get good at breastfeeding. Before you go back to work, establish your milk supply. Take care of yourself so you make plenty of breast milk. Try to:
Wait until your baby is 3 - 4 weeks old to try a bottle. This gives you and your baby time to get good at breastfeeding first.
Your baby has to learn to suck from a bottle too. Here are ways to help your baby learn to take a bottle.
Start bottle feeding about 2 weeks before you go back to work so your baby has time to get used to it.
Buy or rent a breast pump. If you start to pump before you go back to work, you can build up a supply of frozen milk.
Figure out where you can pump at work.
Pump, collect, and store breast milk.
Collect breast milk when pumping. You can use:
Store your breast milk.
You can keep frozen milk:
To thaw frozen milk:
Thawed milk can be refrigerated and used for up to 9 hours. Do not refreeze.
Do not microwave breast milk -- overheating destroys nutrients, and "hot spots" can burn your baby. Bottles may explode when you microwave them for too long.
When leaving breast milk with a child care provider, label the container with your child's name and the date.
Milk - human; Human milk; Milk - breast; Breast pump information
Payne PA, Tully MR. Breastfeeding promotion. In: Ratcliffe SD, Baxley EG, Cline MK, Sakornbut EL, eds. Family Medicine Obstetrics. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2008: section D.
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
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