Back to Work – Breastfeeding in the workplace

Making the transition back to work after your maternity leave ends can be difficult, especially switching to pumping. Our lactation consultants provide these tips for success once you’re back at work:

  • When you’re away from your baby, pump every 2-3 hours or as much as possible
  • Breastfeed just before you leave for work and as soon as you get home again
  • Help your milk expression by having pictures of your baby with you; record the sounds of your baby on your cell phone or voicemail and listen to those while pumping
  • Try to create a relaxing atmosphere in which to pump. Closing your eyes, breathing deeply and relaxing will help with expression of milk
  • Massage your breasts before and during the middle of the pumping session
  • End your pump session with hand expression to aid breast drainage
  • When home, feed your baby on demand to help maintain your supply
  • Keep talking with your employer/supervisor about what is working and what isn’t
  • Remember breastfeeding and pumping is an organic thing, be flexible
  • Dr. Jack Newman provides many resources for breastfeeding moms. This link includes techniques for expressing milk successfully when you’re away from your baby.

As a working mom, you have many responsibilities, and it may be challenging to keep up your milk supply. Food, drink and lots of cuddling with your baby, in addition to frequent breastfeeding on your days off, will help maintain your supply. Remember, you are doing a great job. Call our Breastfeeding Support Program (520) 324-5730 if you have any questions.

Sign up for Breastfeeding Basics – A class for expectant mothers to support them on the breastfeeding journey

We’d love to hear your input. If you’ve already breastfed and made the transition back to the work place can you share a little of your experience? How did you make it work? What challenges did you face? Did you have a particularly positive experience with an employer? Give kudos to them.

Useful resources:

At TMC for Women

  • TMC for Women’s Breastfeeding Support Program – Call (520) 324-5730
  • TMC for Women’s Breastfeeding Support Group – Mondays, 10-11:30am in the Canyon Conference Room near the Southeast Entrance.
  • Tucson Medical Center has lactation rooms for its staff on the postpartum unit. Contact the Breastfeeding Support Program for more information


In the Literature

The Milk Memos – At times hilarious, sometimes poignant and always insightful resource that started as a plea from one new mom sitting in a lactation room at IBM to whoever might be also using the lactation room.



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Tucson Medical Center | 5301 E. Grant Road | Tucson, Arizona 85712 | (520) 327-5461
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