Going back to work and expressing
The good think about owning a good quality Unimom Breast Pump is that if you have to go to work, you can continue to provide your baby with your breast milk.
How Much Milk Does My Baby Need?
The research shows that from one to six months, breastfed babies take in an average of 750 – 800mls per day (intake doesn’t increase with age or size). This will vary between individual babies but a typical range of breast milk intake is from about 570 mils to 900 mls a day.
So, to estimate how much milk your baby will need each feed, work out about how many feeds your baby has in 24 hours then divide 800 mls by that number. For instance, if your baby has 6 feeds a day, you would make up feeds of 150 mls.
It is a good idea to leave small amounts for your caregiver so they can offer it to baby as a top if he/she is thirsty or at the end of the day waiting for you to get home. That way they will not waste a whole bottle of frozen gold ;-)
How often do I need to Express?
It is a good idea to start atleast 2 weeks before you go back to store up some extra breast milk in the freezer so you are never without, incase there are days where your supply is low, or you miss a pumping time. See guidelines for storing breast milk here. See our Unimom Milk Storage solutions here .
Choose a time of day that suits you to express when you are most full. For some mothers this can be first thing in the morning or possibly later at night. You will learn this in time.
When you are at work you will need to pump during your breaks, ensuring you are pumping just as much as baby feeds. So for an 8 hour day you may need to pump up to 3 times. Pumping sessions can take 10 -20 mins. This will keep up your milk supply to match babies needs. If you use a double pump you will get more milk in less time, so this may enable you to pump only twice. It all depends how old your baby is, how much milk your baby takes, how much you have and how often your baby feeds.
Let down aids for at work
Take a photo of your baby to work to look at while you pump or a piece of his/her clothing to smell and remind you of them. These triggers can help a let down to come and get your milk flowing. Choose a private, comfortable room so you can relax as you express as an anxious state will effect your let down. If you struggle with low milks supply see some of our tips here on increasing supply
Breastfeeding once you are home and on the weekends will help mainting a good milk supply.
Cleaning and Sterilising your equipment
See here for info on cleaning and sterilising