Going Back to Work After Baby

Nursing at Work

A Working Mom's Guide to Breastfeeding

If you're planning to continue nursing, you'll need to get the pumping routine down well before your return to work.

Start pumping and freezing the milk a month before you're due back on the job. You'll get in the habit of pumping and build up an emergency supply.

Let someone else bottle-feed your baby. "He needs to get used to being fed by someone besides his mother," says Kathy Baker, Peer Counselor Program training administrator at La Leche League International.

Talk to your boss to come up with a pumping schedule that works for both of you. You might suggest dividing your lunch hour into pumping sessions: You'll need to take 15- or 20-minute breaks two to three times a day.

Find a private location. "If your company doesn't have a designated lactation room, perhaps there's an empty office or conference room that you could use to pump," suggests Baker. "Some women get creative and hang a curtain around the outside of their cubicle when no privacy is available."

Having Second Thoughts?

"Unless you have a contract that specifically states you'll return to work on a set date -- which can happen in some union or high-profile jobs -- you can decide to quit whenever you choose," says attorney Donna Lenhoff of the National Employment Lawyers Association. Though your employer does have the right to take you to court to get back the health-insurance premiums and wages paid during your maternity leave, Lenhoff says that this rarely happens. As for the best time to give your boss notice, the sooner, the better.

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