Back to Work or School

Using a Pump

Arrange use of a pump

  • Talk with your insurance provider and/or your health care provider about your eligibility for a personal electric breast pump.
  • Your hospital, employer, school or local WIC office may have pumps for rent. Manual pumps are also available.

Practice expressing, storing and feeding your milk

  • Begin expressing and bottle-feeding your milk after breastfeeding is well established. Start practicing a few weeks before you plan to return to work.
  • If using a pump, make sure it fits well – it should not cause pain. The plastic attachments come in several sizes.
  • Collect your milk, date it, and store it in the back of the freezer in small amounts (approximately 2 oz. per container).
  • Practice having another caregiver feed your milk at a slow pace so that your baby can show signs of fullness.

Paced Bottle Feeding

Use these tips when feeding from a bottle:

  • Hold the baby in an upright position, not lying down, so milk doesn’t pool in baby’s mouth.
  • Let the baby draw the nipple into the mouth – avoid forcing it.
  • Stroke baby’s lips gently with bottle nipple to open baby’s mouth.
  • Feed the baby until the baby shows signs of fullness.
  • Take your time to avoid feeding too much in a short time.
  • Allow frequent pauses to discourage guzzling.
  • Give baby a chance to feel full before becoming over-full.
  • Avoid coaxing the baby to finish the last bit of milk in the bottle after the baby shows signs of being done.
  • Alternate the side you feed the baby during feedings to encourage development of both eyes.