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Work and breastfeeding – how do you cope?

The WHO recommends that mothers breastfeed their babies for six months. This presents working mothers with the problem of how to reconcile their return to work with the need for breastfeeding. Our step-by-step advice can help.

Breastfeeding for six months offers many advantages for mother and baby alike. However, many working mothers already wean their babies onto solids at the end of the 14-week maternity leave, so that nothing stands in the way of their return to work. This does not have to be the case, because the law stipulates that mothers must be given the time they need for breastfeeding or expressing milk. With the right preparation and a little support, breastfeeding can be integrated into day-to-day working life without any problem. The following tips may be if assistance to you in your preparations:

Before maternity leave
  • Inform your employer and colleagues that you plan to breastfeed or express milk at the workplace.
  • Agree on the day you plan to start back and the workload you can take on.
  • Clarify whether a breastfeeding room and/or a refrigerator for storing the milk is available for you at the workplace.
1 – 4 weeks before the start of work
  • Express sufficient milk and freeze it in portions for storage. The milk will keep for some months in this way without any problem.
  • Drop by at the workplace and introduce your colleagues to your baby.
  • Clarify who will look after the baby in your absence and give the person detailed instructions.
  • Make sure you have everything you need for breastfeeding or expressing milk (nursing pads, breast pump, bottles, cool bag and hold-all).
On the first day back at work:
  • Get up in good time so you can breastfeed your baby in peace before setting off for work.
  • Pack not only everything you need for breastfeeding or expressing milk, but also enough nursing pads and a cotton diaper to protect your clothes. A spare blouse may also be a good idea, just in case.
  • When expressing milk or breastfeeding at the workplace, try keeping to your usual breastfeeding rhythm, so that milk production is maintained.
  • If expressing does not work at first, look at a picture of your baby or smell an item of the baby’s clothing or soft toy that you have brought with you.
  • If someone brings the baby by for you to breastfeed, be prepared for the fact that your baby will first have to get used to the unaccustomed surroundings and the breastfeeding might not work right away. Time and patience are of the essence here.

If you have any further questions about your health, then as an insured member of SWICA you will find the doctors and medical staff of the free breastfeeding hotline of sante24 at your disposal, offering expert advice, on tel. +41 (0)44 404 86 86 at any time of the day or night.

SWICA supports the 2014 breastfeeding campaign. For further information, go to www.stillkampagne.ch

 

09.06.2014


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