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10 Helpful Tips for Breastfeeding after returning to work

Are you a breastfeeding mother planning to go back to work soon? Returning to work after having a baby is a big step for any mother. Don’t worry, you don’t have to stop breastfeeding your baby just because you are resuming your work.

Wondering “How do I continue breastfeeding after going back to work”? Here are 10 tips for you.

Book an appointment to consult Dr. Nandita Patwari for pediatric & Neonatology concerns

1. Invest In A Good Breast Pump

Breast pumps come in various sizes with multiple features. Invest in a good automatic double breast pump. You will save a lot of time and don’t have to do much work to pump frequently at work. The faster the pumping, the less time you will spend away from your desk. Some pumps have both electric as well as battery options. You can use such pumps anywhere, anytime.

2. Offer Your Baby a Bottle

Start offering your baby a bottle. You can start by switching one breastfeeding session to a bottle feed. Preferably switch one of the sessions you are sure to miss due to work. This way, the baby will get comfortable drinking from the bottle for that particular feed. Different brands offer different types of bottles. You may have to experiment a little before finalizing a bottle.

3. Start Stocking Breastmilk in Your Freezer

You cannot create a breastmilk stock overnight. Once you decide to get back to work, start creating your breastmilk stock. Keep pumping daily and storing the milk in packets specially designed for this purpose. Ensure you label them with the right time and date. If possible, number them too, so that anyone can take out the milk and thaw it for feeding the baby.

Talk to your lactation consultant to know how to store your breastmilk and how long you can freeze it.

4. Get Others to Bottle Feed the Baby

Slowly, start letting other members of the family offer the bottle to the baby. Babies take time to trust someone and drink from the bottle. Start with your spouse and move on to other members of the family. If you are going to leave your baby with a nanny at home, train the nanny to give the bottle. Let the baby get comfortable taking the bottle from the nanny.

If you plan to leave your baby at daycare, caretakers can’t familiarize themselves with the baby until they start daycare. Get the baby familiar with their bottle. Let them form an attachment and bond with the bottle so that they will drink from it when anyone offers it. This can be a little tricky, but don’t worry. Daycare professionals are good at this and will help your baby accommodate in no time.

5. Pump and Store at Work

Talk to your manager about facilities to pump breast milk and store it at work. Most workplaces will have a refrigerator in the pantry. Talk to the concerned people and set aside a corner to store your breastmilk.

You need a room to pump breastmilk. You cannot sit in the toilet and pump every few hours. If your company does not offer a pumping room, talk to your HR and ask for a private room. The room should have a comfortable chair and an electric socket to plug in your breast pump.

6. Maintain Work Schedule

For the next few months, try to maintain a strict work schedule. Talk to your manager and explore your work-from-home options. If you need to stay back at work or have work calls, check if you can take them from home. An erratic work schedule will not only affect your pumping schedule but can affect your baby too. Though very young, some babies can experience separation anxiety. If you switch a breastfeeding session to a bottle feed session, your baby may refuse the bottle or not feed properly.

7. Set Time for Pumping at Work

Initially, your co-workers may be accommodating and understanding about your work and pumping schedule. Over time, they may slip back into old working ways and work meetings, and deadlines may interfere with your pumping schedule. Ensure you set an alarm on your phone and never miss your pumping session. A friendly reminder to your co-workers can help you stay on your pumping schedule.

Don’t hesitate and be firm with your co-workers about your break time for pumping. Schedule your appointments and meetings around this schedule. Missing your pumping session can not only lead to engorgement, it can even lead to leaking and discomfort or pain. Repeatedly missing your pumping session can alter your milk production too.

8. Reduce Stress

Stress is a part of work. It can be quite a task for new mothers who are trying to juggle work, baby, and breastfeeding. Try to reduce your stress as it can negatively impact your breastmilk supply. Some quick ways to reduce stress at work are:

Take breaks when stress is high

  • Talk to co-workers
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for help
  • Don’t try to do it all
  • Don’t give into social stigma and try to prove them wrong
  • Talk to your manager and HR if the pressure is too much

9. Eat on Time

When you return to work after your maternity break, you may want to catch up on all the work and updates. Skipping a meal may seem to be the easiest option to get more time, to catch up on your work. Ensure you don’t skip your meals and keep eating well-balanced nutritious meals. What you eat is what reaches your baby through your milk. So, if you don’t eat well, the milk quality will suffer.

For those asking “How do I maintain my milk supply after returning to work”? Galactagogues foods are the answer. Include galactagogues like ginger, garlic, fenugreek, nuts, oats, green leafy vegetables, etc, in your regular diet. You can even include these in your snacks (lactation cookies). These will help keep up the milk supply and help you continue your breastfeeding journey despite getting back to work.

10. Stay Hydrated

Most environments are air-conditioned and you may not feel thirsty. Air conditioning can dehydrate you quickly, which can impact your milk supply. Ensure you drink plenty of water and other liquids as hydration is very important to maintain your breast milk supply. An easy way to ensure you drink sufficient water is to use your own bottle. You can put a band or a hair-tie on the bottle every time you empty it. This will help you keep track of how many bottles of water you are drinking.

Also Read : Breastfeeding Is The Best Feeding!


Resuming work after a baby should not stop you from breastfeeding. Hope the above tips can help you continue your breastfeeding journey despite all the new commitments and demands.


1. Should I breastfeed after returning to work or study?

Breastfeeding is purely a personal choice. WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of the baby’s life and continuing breastfeeding along with other foods for the next few months. If you are unable to breastfeed due to various medical issues, there is nothing to be ashamed of. Similarly, if you want to continue breastfeeding, nothing should stop you from doing so.

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