The Role of a Lactation Consultant in helping Working Mothers Breastfeed

Your maternity leave has come to an end, and you need to head back to work. Naturally, it can be a challenging period, deciding how to care for your newborn while you are away at work. One of the biggest discussions in your family will be about continuing to breastfeed, and how to manage it. 

There are quite a few things to consider. For example, how much in advance should you be pumping, what is the best kind of pump to invest in, how many times a day, how to store and so on. That’s where a lactation consultant can help. A lactation consultant is a healthcare professional who specializes in supporting breastfeeding for working mothers. They provide individualized guidance on topics such as how to plan the day, how to deal with engorged breasts, and what kind of support you need to ask for from work and home. 

On the occasion of World Breastfeeding Week (WBW), we want to express our solidarity with working parents and encourage them to follow best practices when it comes to nourishing their newborn, without compromising the health and wellbeing of both baby and mother.

The benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby

Breastfeeding is a natural and beneficial way to nourish your baby, and it has many health benefits for both mother and baby, the main ones listed below:

  1. Breastfed babies have a lower risk of certain diseases, such as asthma, allergies, respiratory infections, ear infections, and gastrointestinal infections. They also have a lower rate of hospitalization compared to formula-fed babies.
  2. Breast milk contains a variety of essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are crucial for your baby’s growth and development. It also has unique components that can protect your baby from illnesses and boost their immune system.
  3. Breastfeeding also has many benefits for the mother, such as a lower risk of postpartum depression and other long-term health benefits. It can also help with weight loss, although other factors, such as diet and exercise, also play a role.

To learn more about the benefits, read the article:  Top 12 Benefits of Breastfeeding for both Mom and Baby.

Most healthcare organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend exclusively breastfeeding for at least six months, and then gradually introducing solid foods while continuing breastfeeding for at least one year. 

Therefore, we encourage you to nourish your little one with mother’s milk even beyond the stipulated period if possible. However, if you are facing challenges with milk production, latching challenges, or painful nipples, please visit a lactation consultant. Our clinic in Prabha  Devi is conveniently located for working mothers residing in South Mumbai. 

Tips to overcome challenges as a working mother to continue breastfeeding

According to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), while 80% of mothers start breastfeeding, only about 50% continue past six months, and even fewer beyond a year. One of the reasons for this decline is the challenge working mothers face in balancing work and breastfeeding. 

However, with the right tips and support, it’s possible to continue breastfeeding even when you return to work. Here are some tips to help you overcome the challenges:

  1. Plan your day around breastfeeding: Make a schedule for pumping sessions at work and communicate this with your boss and colleagues to avoid scheduling meetings during these times.
  2. Ask your HR department about the policy and the time off you require to go home and breastfeed your baby. Many companies have Work-From-Home policies, and you can opt to work from home or follow a hybrid work schedule to manage feeding your baby.
  3. Pump in the office: This will help you avoid painful, engorged breasts and ensure that your baby has a sufficient supply of breast milk while you’re away. If possible, organize for the milk to be delivered home for your baby’s caregiver to use.
  4. Wear loose clothes or thickly padded bras: This can help you avoid any embarrassing situations at work, such as leaks or spills.
  5. Seek support: Connect with other working mothers who are breastfeeding, join a breastfeeding support group or hire a lactation consultant for additional guidance and support. 

Do not take a decision to stop breastfeeding without exploring all possible ways to manage  any challenges you may be facing. Keep in mind all the wonderful benefits breastfeeding offers not just for your little one, but for you as well. Talk to a lactation consultant who can provide you with additional guidance on how to successfully continue breastfeeding as you balance your work responsibilities. 

The role of a lactation consultant in providing support and guidance

Breastfeeding for working mothers can be challenging, and this is where the role of a lactation consultant comes in. Lactation consultants are trained professionals who can provide support and guidance to mothers on all aspects of breastfeeding, including how to continue breastfeeding when returning to work.

Lactation consultants can offer tips and advice on how to deal with engorged breasts, how to maintain a breastfeeding schedule while working, and how to store and transport breast milk. 

They can also help mothers troubleshoot any breastfeeding difficulties, such as low milk supply or difficulties latching.

One of the most important roles of a lactation consultant is to provide emotional support to mothers who are struggling with the demands of breastfeeding while working. They can help mothers feel confident in their ability to continue breastfeeding and provide practical solutions to help them balance their work and breastfeeding responsibilities.

By seeking the guidance and support of a lactation consultant, working mothers can have the knowledge and tools they need to continue breastfeeding successfully. 

If this is your first time connecting with a lactation consultant, read this article to know what to expect during your first visit and how to prepare.

Breastfeeding for working mothers may come with its challenges, but with the right support, it can be done successfully. As we celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, we want to encourage all working mothers to continue breastfeeding and provide the necessary nutrients and bonding experience to their babies.

Mothers need to understand their rights and seek support from their workplace, whether it is a private area to pump milk or flexible working hours. It is also essential for the family to be supportive and understanding, offering help with household chores and childcare to make the process easier.

As a mother, it is your right to nourish your baby and provide the best care possible. Therefore, don’t hesitate to seek support and book an appointment with a lactation consultant to ensure you have all the necessary tools and resources to continue breastfeeding while working. Remember, with the right support, breastfeeding for working mothers can be achieved!