Xza Higgins is the mother of 2 kids- Atticus, age 4, and Luella, age 1. She nursed both children after returning to work full-time at MommyCon, so understands first-hand how challenging it can be to balance the demands of breastfeeding and returning to work. However Xza has discovered a number of tactics that have helped her successfully tackle the desire to nourish her babies while staying on top of work commitments. Here she shares her top 5 tips for breastfeeding and going back to work full time. Having breastfed by two kiddos and having worked while doing so, I can tell you from experience her tips are very helpful.
5 Ways to Balance Breastfeeding and Returning To Work Full Time
By Xza Higgins, Founder of MommyCon
Create Realistic Expectations For Breastfeeding And Returning To Work
The truth is it is hard returning to work while continuing to feed your baby. You want to be the best colleague AND best mom you possibly can be. I recommend starting with being gentle on yourself, and setting realistic expectations. This could be “I’m only going to nurse for one more day” or it could be “I am going to nurse for another 6 months (or 36 months).” Think about your goals and then assess them realistically. This will help you get by on the really tough days when simultaneously nursing and working seem like an impossible task.
Set Aside Time to Nurse/Pump
This is really important. Work will always be there, but your baby will not. Your child is changing every day so every moment counts. You also only have a limited amount of time to nourish your baby and give them the best possible start to life. Make nursing a priority over work by setting the same amount of time aside each day to pump. Make this time sacred!
Look at a Photo!
Let’s face it, pumping is never going to be as easy as feeding your baby on the breast. It feels mechanical, functional and often very comical!! You’re missing the closeness of your baby and the bonding experience we all love. This is why looking at a photo of your baby while pumping really helps! It not only personalizes the experience again, but looking at a photo of your baby while pumping can trigger a let-down, which makes the whole experience a lot easier. I find that looking at a photo also motivates me to continue with my breastfeeding journey. The baby photos are not just for the grandparents!
Self-care is really important while breastfeeding and returning to work. Staying hydrated will maintain your supply and keep you healthier for longer. Make it routine to always have a bottle of water in your bag or on your desk. Continuously sip water throughout the day. Your baby will thank you for it!
It’s important to set personal limits and boundaries while breastfeeding and returning to work. Many people in your office may not understand what you are experiencing and how important it is. They may therefore ask too much of you, or not give you the space and privacy you may need. Don’t be afraid to say no – while your career may be wonderful and fulfilling, communicating your boundaries to your colleagues will empower you on your breastfeeding journey.
These tips from Xza are so important to success breasting and returning to work. I would add, don’t push back your sacred breastfeeding time. This can cause you to get swollen breast that are sore and even clogged breast ducts. You don’t want to have that happen so respect your bodies health so that you can care for your health and your baby’s health.
Thanks to Xza Higgins for sharing these tips for breastfeeding and returning to work. She is the Founder and Program Director of MommyCon, the nation’s largest natural parenting convention. On November 11th & 12th 2016, MommyCon will be bringing its sister conference MILK to Orange County. MILK is an annual infant feeding conference for parents and parenting professionals. It empowers families with information to support the nutrition and health of their children, while simultaneously providing an educational platform for emerging healthcare providers seeking additional academic and practical guidance. The conference blends the medical and parenting worlds into one cohesive community, promoting the fundamental value of infant feeding with confidence.
Let us know if you have any questions about breastfeeding and returning to work or any other tips you’d like to share.