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If you are having a baby one of the many things weighing on your mind may be the prospect of breastfeeding. Should you do it? Will it hurt? Will your breasts ever be the same? How exactly does a breast pump work?
One of the most common questions about breastfeeding is asked by moms who return to work soon after baby is born. Many working mothers feel a real desire to breastfeed their babies, but wonder if it is just a pipe dream because maternity leave doesn’t last forever and baby needs new shoes; or so the saying goes.
Before you get too overwhelmed, just relax. Breastfeeding is a natural, normal process which provides your baby with the best milk possible.
You are not a horrible mother if you choose not to breastfeed your child. There are many circumstances which might prevent it. However if you want to nurse your baby, but are afraid you don’t fit the mold read on. You may just find you do.
You do not have to be a dedicated stay at home mother to successfully provide your baby with breast milk. You do not have to devote every waking moment to pumping or feeding your baby either.
Breastfeeding is extremely flexible and will work with your schedule and dedication, given you know how to manipulate a few breastfeeding facts.
The Body’s Law of Supply and Demand
First off, breast milk is produced on a supply and demand system with a 24-hour delay. In other words if you feed or pump for an unusually long time or for longer than usual your body will naturally create more milk for use at the same time 24 hours later. This is a very handy fact to manipulate, especially for the working mom who needs to pump her milk for daycare feedings.
Pair this fact with the next one and you are set.
When your milk comes in you will probably be producing enough milk to provide bottles to the entire lower east side. Over the course of a few days your body will figure out how much your baby is really using and cut back on the menu a bit.
Working the System
If you want to have enough milk to pump and store, then utilize the surplus extravaganza right from the start. Set aside a time, or several times, throughout the day when you will pump. Make certain you do not miss the scheduled pumping sessions or your body will make less milk the next day!
Your body doesn’t know it is feeding a pump as well as a baby; it will just keep making milk to meet the demand. By following a pumping schedule religiously you will find that you have a stockpile of breast milk ready in the freezer when the time comes to return to work.
Keep your work schedule in mind when setting up your pumping appointments at home. You will be much more likely to sustain successful pumping while working when the appointment times don’t change as you return to work.
Getting ahead feels good, and the frozen breast milk will come in handy when baby starts day care. Keep in mind you don’t have to go all or nothing. Baby can have a bottle or two of formula during the day to make the pumped milk last longer. Then you can nurse at night when you get home from work as well.
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