Plan Ahead for Work and Breastfeeding


Continuing to breastfeed after going back to work requires commitment: making time to pump, the logistics of pumping at work, maintaining your milk supply. It’s no simple endeavor. Our lactation consultants offer information and tips for a seamless return to work while continuing to nurse.

Balancing breastfeeding your infant with returning to work after giving birth can be difficult. Fortunately, you can do both with a little planning.  494374685

A Breastfeeding Mother’s Right to Pump at Work

Some employers offer on-site daycare services so moms can have their babies with them; for the rest, it’s all about pumping with a breast pump in a secluded spot in their workplace.

Federal law states that employers must provide “a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child’s birth, each time such employee has need to express the milk,” and that the breast-pumping room is not to be in a bathroom.

The good thing is that most employers try to accommodate their employees. Just make sure you talk to your employer about what you need – the earlier, the better.

Think Ahead and Create a Plan for Pumping

To make the transition smoother, figure out your pumping schedule before you return to work. With a little practice you’ll become efficient with the entire process. Keep in mind you need to use the pump at least as many times as you would normally breastfeed; for most women that’s three times during the work day.

Meet with one of our certified lactation consultants at The Lactation Connection to learn more about balancing work, baby and breastfeeding.

Contributors: Robin Hollen, RN, IBCLC and Jean Hixon, RN, IBCLC