Returning to Work and Breastfeeding

Firstly well done on wanting to continue breastfeeding your baby while you are returning to work.

Expressing milk is a bit of extra work that’s for sure, but once you get into the routine it will just be normal.

The thing with expressing is that you have to continue doing it as if you were breastfeeding. So on the days and weekends before you start work, you should breastfeed your daughter and note down the times that you do it.  (you probably can tell anyway!).

Then when you are at work, you will need to try and express at those same times, which will keep your milk supply up.

It’s a great idea to continue to feed at breast in morning and night, and then you still get special cuddles.

As for a recommendation, we highly recommend the Medela Swing Breast Pump or the Avent Electric.  These are both comparable pumps (well Avent has a few extras like the storage bag etc) but the key for me comes down to the service and availabilty of spare parts.

Medela have a full technical team in Auckland, so if something did go wrong with your pump, it would be covered under warranty. The Avent pumps are under warranty too, but they don’t have a service department. And spare parts (like tube, or valves etc) are quick to get. Not that that happens very often, but just something to think about.

The Swing is also a bit quieter than the Uno, which is something to be aware of if you are pumping at work. You’ll have to find somewhere with a closed door.

You can store your breast pump in a normal backpack, or one of those chilly bags that guys carry their beer in is really good. With some icepacks to keep your milk if you don’t put it in the fridge at work.

We also recommend that in preparation, you start your baby off on a bottle with the Chu Chu teat. This works the SAME as a nipple, baby has to push down and suck to get the milk out.

A lot of babies get really fussy and wont drink from a teat when you are starting out, and that adds to all the stress. So do try the Chu Chu first, – we have the worlds fussiest baby but as soon we tried these ones he took it.! (and thats why we sell them now)

These ones fit narrow neck bottles, and are compatible with Medela.

You will also need some bottles to store the milk in, when you express it.

Medela have the 150ml or 250ml size, but the 250 ml is actually better value for money. As you can still use this when your baby is older and drinking larger volumes. The 150ml only has a limted span due to the smaller size.

You will also need a brush to clean the bottles.

And a steriliser for the parts, bottles, and teats. You can boil them in a saucepan, or use those sterilisation tablets too (but I tend to think the tablets leave a heavy chemical taste).

We at Breastmates are happy to help you so please let us know if you have any more questions.