Motherhood today will almost always include a return to work for mom as the necessity for maternity “leave” is reduced. Here’s the thing: for health reasons, it can be a good idea for moms to breastfeed for up to two years. Doing so is optimal for the health of mother and child. However, in modernity, owing to occupational needs, breastfeeding is cut short.
Children tend to be weaned within a couple months. What do you do for a baby when you’re not only unable to breastfeed, but you’re not even at home with the little tyke? Well, that’s where breast pumps come in.
What you’re going to want to do is apply the pumps early in the morning. Many mothers report that when they wake up, they’ve got the largest supply of breastmilk. Usually you’ll pump for about ten minutes. From there, you want to keep the breast milk at room temperature for between four and six hours.
Once this “incubation” period is complete, you’ll either want to freeze the breastmilk, or keep it in a refrigerator. Putting it in the freezer can keep it viable for between four and six months, but you will have to warm it up. If you put it in the fridge it’s only going to be good for between four and six days.
Determining Which Route Works Best
Which of these works best for you will depend on your situation. Maybe you can pump in the morning, but you can’t get back within four to six hours to store the milk. Perhaps your spouse does it for you. Maybe you just pump on the weekends. Maybe you freeze some, and refrigerate the rest.
Different mothers working different jobs in different places will have different perspectives on this. One thing that tends to come out of nowhere for some moms is a lack of breastmilk production. If you’re experiencing that, there are healthy ways you can increase breast milk production. This may be necessary as you switch your routine up for work.
Depending on how much you work, and how far away it is from your home, you’ll want to think about the weaning process in advance. The same is true when it comes to breastmilk storage. It’s said that receptacles between two and four ounces are best owing to thaw; go much larger and you’ll lose some milk in the freezing and unfreezing process.
There are certain jobs which will allow you to nurse your newborn “on the clock”, or bring them to the office. These are few and far between. That said, owing to the decentralization of modernity, you can expect a mild increase in options of this variety. It turns out in America right now, 25% of all jobs are completed in a remote capacity—that owing to the pandemic.
Accordingly, there’s a chance you won’t have to worry about returning to work. However, this is not the case for many women. Still, if you can ask your boss about restructuring your position with the company to one which can be completed from home until you wean the child, at minimum it’s worth the inquiry.