As many offices are reopening amid easing restrictions in the wake of declining cases of Covid-19, new mothers are returning to work too. Those who are breastfeeding their little ones might find it challenging at first to express breast milk for their babies but with a little planning one can continue to provide the baby with the much-needed nutrition. (Also read: Postpartum depression in young mothers: Tips on early identification, management)
Breast milk is known to have immense benefits for both the baby and the mother. It is the best food for the baby and protects against diseases like diabetes and cancer. It also protects against various infections like ear infections and is easy to digest.
“Breast feeding can help mothers lose 240 calories per /day and it also helps her to protect against diseases like breast cancer or cervical cancer risk, specifically hormones related onces,” says Sumaya, Lactation Consultant & Counsellor, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Bengaluru, Sahakarnagar.
Here are some tips to keep in mind for working mother
* A week before you resume work, get your baby used to feeding from a cup. Also train the the caregiver who is going to take care of the little one.
* Express your breast milk before you go to work, and leave it for the caregiver to give to your baby but remember to do it in a relaxed way and not hurriedly as it may impact the quantity of milk.
“Leave yourself enough time to express your breast milk. You may need to wake up half an hour earlier than at other times,” says the lactation expert.
“Some mothers may be able to express 2 cups (400 to 500 ml) or more even after the baby has breast fed. But even one cup (200 ml) can give the baby three feeds a day of 60 to 70 ml each. Even ½ cup or less is enough for one feed,” says the expert.
* Express as much breast milk as you can and store it in a clean cup or jar.
“Expressed breast milk (EBM) stays in a good condition longer than cow’s milk, because of the anti-infective factors in it. You can store it for up to 8 hours, even in a hot climate, and outside the refrigerator and 24 hours in the refrigerator. It is safe to give to the baby at least throughout one working day,” says Sumaya.
* Cover the cup of expressed breast milk with a clean plate.
* Do not boil or reheat your breast milk for the baby. Heat destroys many of the anti-infective factors.