According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, August is National Breastfeeding Month. A decision to breastfeed your infant is a personal one but will take some planning. Many times continuing to breast feed while returning to work is desirable as literature suggests a reduced risk of some short- and long-term health conditions for both infants and mothers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists ways to plan for breastfeeding after returning to work:
-Talk to your boss about your plans to breast feed prior to leaving on maternity leave and find out if your place of employment offers a lactation support program for employees
-Discuss various types of work schedule options that fit best with working and breast feeding
-Talk about the “Supporting Nursing Moms at Work: Employer Solutions” with your boss for tips and solutions to help support nursing mothers at work, https://www.womenshealth.gov/supporting-nursing-moms-work?from=breastfeeding
-Take breast feeding classes
-Talk with other women who have breast fed and returned to work
-Look into child care options prior to having your baby, and find out if the facility will feed your baby with your pumped breastmilk
The US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has a Fact Sheet#73 that provides general information on the break time requirement for nursing mothers in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and can be viewed directly at https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs73.pdf .
To learn about medications that are contraindicated while breastfeeding, travel recommendations, diet and micronutrients, where to store breastmilk, how often to pump at work, how much breastmilk to send with your baby during the day and other questions, visit your nodawaypublichealth.org
Kathryn Hawley, RN & Health Educator, Nodaway County Health Dept.