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Time out for Breast Feeding Mothers

When you feel ready to think about going back to work, or for that matter starting your usual social activities, there are several options you may want to consider.

When your needs make time away from your baby a fact of life, you can make plans accordingly. You can decide what plan will be best for you and your baby -

  • working on a part-time basis.
  • go back to your baby or have the baby brought to you for a nursing during a break in work. If you can do any of these things, it may be easier for you to continue breastfeeding.
  • going back to work full- time.

If you are leaving your nursing baby while he/she is fairly young, you should get your baby used to taking a bottle. But the most important thing is for you to enjoy and get to know your baby now. You may have heard that for working nursing mothers the early weeks are the time to establish the milk supply. This isn’t exactly the case, since a woman’s milk supply is never really established at a certain level. Rather, the milk supply is always ready to go up or down, according to how much time is spent nursing.


My baby is 4 mth. I want to resume my duties in a school. How do I get ready?
There are 3 ways for you to handle going back to work:
  1. You may substitute one breast-feed /day with bottle-feeding (with plenty of holding and cuddling), then two a day and so on gradually until no breast-feed is left. Nursing less encourages the breasts to produce less and less milk, which is gradual weaning. And weaning is something that all mothers and babies do at some point. Whether you wean at one age or another or another is something for you to decide as you go along
  2. You may continue to nurse before and after work, indefinitely, while the baby is given formula in bottles during the working hours. This way you will nurse more frequently at night and on days off work.
  3. Another way is to nurse before and after work, but hand express or pump their milk in between and chill it, so that the next day the baby can be given this milk in a bottle. Some women who begin by collecting milk for the baby find it too time-consuming (it is time-consuming) and then change their plans and have the sitter feed the baby formula.

It is more important for you to be happy with what you are doing then to try to stick to what others say or suggest. Be prepared to be flexible as you go along.


When and How do I give a Bottle?
As with any nursing baby, your newborn needs a good chance to learn how to nurse at the breast. For this reason, you may wait till your baby is about 4-6 weeks old before beginning to offer a daily bottle (of water, breast milk, or cow's milk). At first, a baby may accept a bottle more willingly from someone other than his mother, whom he associates with nursing.

The best advice on bottles is to use them from a position of strength – you do have enough milk, but you’ll be away from the baby; the bottle is appropriate. Don’t use bottle from a position of weakness – you’re afraid you don’t have enough milk, so you’re using a bottle to fill up your baby. The bottle is not appropriate, because the way to deal with "not enough milk" is to nurse more, not less.


My sister is usually free during the time I work and I plan to leave my baby in her care. What thing should I consider when I will be leaving the baby there?
What things should I look for in a baby- sitter or the people at a cr�che?
After you decide when you will be leaving your baby, you may need to decide who will care for your baby. You may want to find out how your relatives or possible sitters at a cr�che feel about areas of child rearing. You will be happier in the long run with a sitter whose routines are somewhat similar to your own feelings.

Be sure to tell the sitter about your baby’s daily routines, if he has any special feeding or napping needs, if he has a special blanket, etc.

Obviously, the closer the sitter is to your home or on the way to your place of work, lesser the commuting time will be.


Getting Ready
The first time that you are away from your baby for several hours may seem tiring to you, but less so if you get ready. The night before, you’ll need to pack a bag for the baby if he/she will be cared for outside of your home (plenty of diapers, changes of clothing, bottles of whatever you have decided to use, medicines).

A blouse that does not show wetness is a good choice for women who have a problem with leaking. If you feel your milk let down or flow out, cross your arms inconspicuously across your chest to hold back the milk. Many working nursing mothers feel that it is worthwhile to set the alarm early enough to allow 20-30 minutes of nursing and cuddling in bed, and also time for a good breakfast. After you are back with your baby, you may want to sit down, put your feet up and enjoy a good nursing. You can ask the sitter not to feed the baby right before that time.


I am in a joint family and the only working mother. I am facing a lot of flak as to how I neglect my baby. I don't know how to react?
You should be forewarned that some people are opposed to the idea of a mother leaving her baby, especially MIL or going back to work. You may even encounter a person who – without being asked – gives you his/her own negative opinion of what you are doing. If you ever find yourself on the receiving end of negative comments, try to remember that people who make such remarks may be dealing with their own problems and may not realize that what seems right for one family may be all wrong for the next family. Resist the urge to feel guilty or feel like giving up on nursing or working when you’re having a bad day.


After resuming duties, I notice that my milk supply has dwindled. What do I do?
If you find that your milk supply seems less abundant, or if you find that your baby prefers the bottle (not uncommon around 4 months), then you can decide how to proceed. You can either continue with regular bottles; this is really a gradual weaning and is what many mothers do. Or you can increase nursing in the morning, at night, on weekends. You can do whatever seems to make you and your baby happiest.


Checklist while dropping your baby off at the sitter or cr�che
  1. Baby's feeds, medicines, diapers, change of clothes for the day
  2. All-important phone numbers incl all your office, husband's office, your doctor's and any relation close by who can be contacted in an emergency.
  3. While picking up in the evening, any significant event of that day, incl exposure to any other sick child
If leaving your baby with a full time maid
involve at least one responsible neighbor to keep a tab on the servant and help out in an emergency. All important phone numbers in the language your servant understands should be displayed at a prominent place. Inform your doctor about the status and organise with your doctor and chemist that your servant can get medicines/ healthcare without immediate payment.

If possible try and get MTNL's ********** phone plus service.

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