Boston University is committed to meeting the needs of mothers returning to work and ensuring that managers have the information they need to support them. For more information about breastfeeding and lactation support at Boston University click here.
Breastfeeding is beneficial for both the mother and child in a variety of physical and emotional ways. Returning to work after having a baby or adopting a child can pose challenges for a working mother, especially when you are breastfeeding.
Planning Ahead and Supervisor Support
- Meet with your supervisor or the person to whom you report in order to discuss your needs and how you will be working together to make the appropriate accommodations for your pumping – this should be an ongoing dialogue as your needs will most likely change as you settle into working and your pumping frequency decreases over time
- Plan your day to include the times you will need to pump – when you first return to work, you may have to pump more frequently and it may not be as predictable
- If the space where you will be pumping requires additional travel time, include this time when you are planning your schedule for the day – you do not want to be rushing to the location where you will be pumping as this will increase your stress and, likely, decrease your breast milk production
- Over time, your frequency to express milk will change, so it is important to communicate regularly with your supervisor or the person you report to in order to make sure they understand your needs and can support you throughout this process
Try to Stay Comfortable, Relaxed and Hydrated
- As you prepare to pump and when you are pumping, allow yourself to relax – take a few slow deep breaths before you begin pumping and think about your baby, this will aid in the stimulation of the letdown and breast milk production
- Make sure you are seated in a comfortable position – this will help you relax throughout the process
- Some women have a more difficult time producing milk when they are pumping and not engaged in the breastfeeding experience with their child – looking at a photograph of your baby can help trigger the stimulation of the letdown, so you may want to keep a photograph on hand
- Drink a glass of water each time you express milk, especially in the early weeks and months after the birth of your child – this is an easy way to keep hydrated and increase your milk supply