Clearing The Path For Pumping Breastmilk At Work

After the joy and excitement of having a baby, you still have to get back to work, for a number of reasons. First there’s the economic recession and the need for financial stability in homes. if you’re getting back to work and you want to keep breastfeeding, you might have to pump and express breastmilk while away from your baby. Thus you might be faced with additional challenges, pumping at work requires research, practice and patience.

You rent or buy equipment; learn how to use the equipment; we purchase the containers needed to store the milk; and then we plan when, where and how this is going to happen while we juggle work and life.

In some organisations, a nursing mother would be given time to pump and have access to a clean private room that contains refrigerator so she can express and store. But this is rare, women have had to express breast milk inside their workplace kitchen or toilet.

Most organisations don’t even recognise the fact that a nursing mom needs to pump hence the provision of time, space and refrigerator is seen as the woman’s business and not theirs. Imagine women having to pump in dirty places like the toilet, milk that’ll be their baby’s next meal, no wonder most moms wean their baby before getting back to work.

And here’s what a new mom can do to ensure that she’s given the time and space to pump when they return to work;

1. Negotiate

On getting back to work, your supervisor already know a lot has changed. Have a talk about the need to have some privacy and the time to express milk.

2. Have a plan

This will probably see a lot of revisions in the years to come but you still need a plan on when to express and how many minute you’re going to spend expressing. Include this in your plan;
• Potential locations you could pump in private.
• What you need (chair, refrigerator to keep milk cold).
• Estimated time needed.
• Suggested schedule (one that works for both you and your employer).

3. Share your plan

After coming up with a plan, share it with the HR department and/or your manager. A little talk might be needed, be prepared.

Finally, I’ll say this, you need support, in your workplace and at home. Someone who you can share your struggles with, who will lend a listening ear like your mom friend at work, your mom or even other Mamalettes, just reach out to someone who will make the journey easier.

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How to Ensure Your Baby Is Gaining A Healthy Weight After Birth

After the birth of a baby the parent’s concern then shifts to making sure the baby is gaining weight and growing both physically and intellectually like the baby is supposed to. Growth is a good indicator of general health, and babies who are growing well are generally healthy, while poor growth can be a sign of a problem.

Doctors will keep track of weight, length, and head size. According to Kidshealth, a new born baby born at 37 and 40 weeks usually weighs 2.5kg-4kg.The length of the pregnancy is important. Babies born around their due date or later tend to be larger than those born earlier. Other factors that can affect a baby’s weight include:

  • Premature babies generally are smaller and lighter than other newborns. A preemie’s weight will be largely determined by how early he or she was born.
  • Genetics
  • Multiple births,
  • First babies are sometimes smaller than brothers or sisters born later.
  • Girls tend to be smaller, boys larger, but the differences are slight at birth.
  • Mother’s health during pregnancy
  • Nutrition during pregnancy
  • Medical problems and certain infections acquired during the pregnancy, can affect a child’s birth weight and later growth.

Valerie Marchand, is a Pediatric Gastroenterologist and chair of the Canadian Paediatric Society’s Nutrition and Gastroenterology Committee. She was part of a group that recommended the use of new growth charts developed by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Growth charts examine length and weight in boys and girls, from birth to thirty-six months.  In the first few days after birth, babies normally lose weight, then get back to their birth weight by about 10 days. Marchand suggests that parents should be aware that a baby’s birth weight depends more on the mother’s diet and health during pregnancy. While slow-gaining babies tend to get the most attention, there are new concerns about babies who gain quickly. “You need to look at height as well as weight,” says Marchand.

Paediatrician and breastfeeding expert Jack Newman said, “the first step is often to improve the way the baby latches on to the breast”. “When the baby is not drinking much, using compression can help,” he adds. To determine how your baby’s measurements compare with those of other babies born after the same length of pregnancy, your paediatrician will refer to a growth chart. Always refer to your baby’s pediatrician and listen to them concerning how to maintain a healthy weight for your baby.

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