Returning to Work while Breastfeeding

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mothers who work outside the home initiate breastfeeding at the same rate as mothers who stay at home. However, the breastfeeding continuance rate declines sharply in mothers who return to work. While the work environment may be less than ideal for the breastfeeding mother, obstacles can be overcome. Available breast pump types include manual pumps, battery-powered pumps, electric diaphragm pumps, electric piston pumps, and hospital-grade electric piston pumps. Electric piston pumps may be the most suitable type for mothers who work outside the home for more than 20 hours per week; however, when a mother is highly motivated, any pump type can be successful in any situation. Conservative estimates suggest that breast milk can be stored at room temperature for eight hours, refrigerated for up to eight days, and frozen for many months. A breastfeeding plan can help the working mother anticipate logistic problems and devise a practical pumping schedule. A mother's milk production usually is well established by the time her infant is four weeks old; it is best to delay a return to work until at least that time, and longer if possible. Copyright

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2201-2208+2215
JournalAmerican family physician
Volume68
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice

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