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Breastfeeding and Work Related Issues

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Breastfeeding is a huge responsibility and a challenge in itself. Patience, endurance, self-sacrifices, and persistence are the building blocks of a successful breastfeeding journey. According to my, 21st-century mothers are more like warriors, they seamlessly transition from a mother in the home to a boss lady or a hard-working employee at the office. 

They’re capable of striking the perfect balance between their responsibilities at home and commitments at work. If working women find a drop in their breast milk production they can pop emergency lactation brownies and go about their day. Unfortunately, the environment at offices and other workplaces is not so accommodating for women who choose to take their carriers and motherhood simultaneously.

Renowned organizations like WHO, strongly recommend breastfeeding infants exclusively for at least the first 6 months and then combine it with solid foods and mother’s milk for another year or so. The many benefits of breastfeeding are now proven and there are no two ways about them.

Despite such strong recommendations and benefits, only about 27% of the mothers are still nursing their babies after six months, the initial percentage at the time of birth was 66%. So the drop in the percentage is quite significant, perturbing and troubling. There are many factors that come together to bring such a drop in numbers, but I think an unsupportive work environment plays a huge part.

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I will also take the liberty and urge all new, working mothers to make a conscious effort to make breastfeeding a workable option. Just because you have to resume work doesn’t mean you have to forsake breastfeeding. With proper guidance, planning, discussion, determination and support from your family and employer, breastfeeding is very much achievable.

All mothers must be well informed that there are devastating consequences of stopping breastfeed before 6 months of child health, both mental and physically. The fragile immune system of infants is dependent on the breast milk nutrition for its proper development. Other than this there are a ton of more advantages that one can’t even fathom.

If mothers are determined to defy the odds then they can easily manage any challenge thrown at their way. When you will overcome those hurdles then you can hold your head high as you have accomplished what most women can’t. Also your child will thank you for a lifetime.

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Going back to work after mere 3-6 months of delivering the baby is a very emotionally deterring for all working mothers. But we as women should understand our importance and stand up for what is important as well as proven from many reputed organizations.

 Women nowadays are fuel to the workforce and their rights are also being identified and laws are being formed to make things easier for them. The Fair Labour Standards Act (FLSA) needs all the employers to provide non-exempt employees to have reasonable breaks to express milk for at least a year of the child’s birth.

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Some states have laws that allow extensive lactation breaks to its female employees, however only a handful of employers respect the laws, others fall miserably short. In this article we are trying to highlight as many work related issues faced by new mothers as we can and also tell you how to combat them.

First things first, if you want to have a successful breastfeeding experience than start nursing your newborn from day one. You will need around 4-6 weeks to completely understand the mechanics of it, forming a schedule and optimizing your milk supply. How to increase milksupply is another concern of new mothers and this period is ideal to overcome any shortage in supply.

Eating emergency lactation brownies is a very delicious option and it also works well in the office. Once the mother and child are on a set track the things will automatically go into motion and smoothly transit when the mother joins work again. The supply will also flourish if the mother expresses milk during work hours.

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Juggling work, home and new born baby is a tough nut to crack. Many mothers find it too demanding and end up giving up on one of either. But I would like all mothers to not be so harsh on yourself, give time to things so that they can fall into place. Seek help from your spouse and also let your employer know if you need more time or an extension in holidays. 12 weeks of maternity leave is standard, but it can be extended to 16-20 weeks.

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FLSA facilitates new mothers with reasonable break times. This means, for the first year of birth a mother has the right to express milk any time she feels, during work hours.

She can also discuss with her employer a place which is not clean and comfortable but also private so that expressing milk is not embarrassing. Whatever happens, try not to skip your pumping sessions during work as it will not only be extremely painful but also it will affect your supply of milk. Soon you’ll be fretting about how to increase milk supply and everything might just go haywire from there.

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Some employers also accommodate flexible workdays, like 4 days a week with 10 hourly shifts so that a mother can have three full days with her baby with exclusive feeding and gaining her supply back. Working mothers at some point forget their pumps at home so they must also practice hand pumping the milk. If you learn this vital act then you would never worry about a missed expressing session and a healthy supply will maintain.

Bring extra breast pads and a set of extra clothing in order to save yourself from any sneaky leakages. Dress in clothes that make pumping a breeze rather than a nightmare. No matter what happens or what you feel, never think low for yourself. Stay calm and positive you’re doing a great job.

In the End

Working mothers are super women; they are resilient, powerful, determined and self-sufficient. Finding the perfect balance between work and baby is not easy but with careful planning you can overcome any hurdle. Take care of yourself as a healthy mother leads to a healthy child.  

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