Balancing Work & Breastfeeding

The Basics

Milk production is all about supply and demand. That's why it's crucial to pump as often as you can. Each session will take 10 to 20 minutes, including cleanup. Plan to pump at least twice during an eight-hour workday. Amy Gudgeon, of Chicago, says she produces 3 to 4 ounces on each side during a session.

Stimulating the letdown reflex -- which signals the breasts to release milk -- can be a challenge. Stress produces adrenaline, which blocks oxytocin, the hormone that jump-starts letdown. A photo of your baby or clothing with her scent on it can help counteract this reaction.

Stefanie D'Angelo, of Cleveland, found that phoning her husband, who was at home with the baby, got the milk flowing. "Pumping was easier when I could hear the little bugger squeaking in the background," D'Angelo says.

Pumping at the same time daily helps too. "Don't go long periods with full breasts," Wieser advises. Doing so is a signal to the body that you don't need to produce milk.

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