An Easy Guide To Set Yourself Up For Breastfeeding Success
Breastfeeding is one of the most rewarding things we as mothers can offer our babies, but it’s also one of the most difficult things we will ever do in our lives, especially for mothers who work outside of the home. Setting yourself up for breastfeeding success is important to maximize the health and relationship benefits breastfeeding brings.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
- Human milk boosts a baby’s immune system and helps protect against common childhood illnesses, infections, allergies, and dermatitis.
- Breastfeeding provides the mother and baby with a unique and strong physical bond that boosts baby’s development and nurtures the baby in a way that no one else can.
- Mothers who are set up for breastfeeding success are more productive and happier employees, providing a three-fold return on investment for businesses that implement resources for nursing mothers.
5 Ways To Set Yourself up for Breastfeeding Success
Set realistic and attainable breastfeeding goals. Do you want to breastfeed your baby for six months? A year? Longer? You are the only one who can set a healthy goal regarding the length of time that makes sense for you and your child, as every baby and mother’s situation is different. Decide on your ultimate goal and then set mini goals to reach it. You can implement the below breastfeeding success action items into your mini goals.
See a lactation consultant. There are dozens of reasons a breastfeeding mother should see a lactation consultant, and no one should ever feel ashamed or embarrassed to visit one. Consider this story from someone on our team: “I’m a certified lactation counselor so when I was having a bit of trouble, I was hesitant to schedule an appointment with another lactation consultant. When I finally did, I told her I was embarrassed. She replied, oh don’t be–I have three kids and I’ve used one every time. Sometimes you just need that outside reassurance. And she was right–that visit made all the difference in the world for me.”
A lactation consultant’s job is to help the mother and baby breastfeed efficiency and effectively. They serve as cheerleaders and practical supports for overcoming all breastfeeding hurdles such as, lip- and tongue-tie, low or abundant milk supply issues, latch concerns, pumping, and more. Many insurance providers and hospitals provide lactation consultant services for free or low cost. Contact your local provider or hospital to learn about your options.
Take advantage of educational programming, resources, and events. Just like with a lactation consultant, chances are you have more resources and educational programming available through your insurance company, hospital, or local community groups. Many people disregard these resources because they feel they are unnecessary. Breastfeeding seems like it should be easy because it’s a natural process, but then mothers are often blindsided by how difficult it is. Do yourself a favor and look into these resources, even if you haven’t had your baby yet. Knowing what’s out there and saving your spot, just in case, might just be your life line! Google breastfeeding and your local city name to research your options. From breastfeeding classes to community meet-ups, your area is likely many helpful options.
Seek out a support network comprised of other working mothers. From Facebook groups to coffee house monthly meetings, you can connect with other working moms who breastfeed in a way that fits your lifestyle and schedule. Talking with someone who is going through the breastfeeding journey alongside you, struggling with the same issues and celebrating the same wins, is one of the best things you can do to set yourself up for breastfeeding success.
Find a clean, appropriate place to pump. When you are away from your baby for an extended period of time, or even a short period if you have a younger baby, means that you’ll need to express milk. Pumping while away from your baby not only allows you to store up milk for future use, but also keeps your supply up and decreases your risk of infection and clogged ducts. It’s important to find a clean place to pump. When you know that you will be away from your baby, research breastfeeding rooms available in that location. If you are having trouble finding a dedicated room, reach out to management and ask for support. Work & Mother Suites are the perfect example of a clean, appropriate place to pump.
A Work and Mother membership provides all of the above benefits. The Work & Mother facilities, which we refer to as “Suites,” are fully equipped and stocked with everything a woman needs to pump during the workday. Click here to see if there is a Work & Mother suite near you. If not, request one for your building.
Good luck on your breastfeeding journey and achieving your goals!