TO A WORKING MOTHER REGARDING INFANT FEEDING
- Breastfeeding your baby exclusively for
six months will ensure his optimal growth,
and protection against most common infectious
illnesses, and allergies. Be prepared for
your child. Adjust your leave schedule to
have maximum leave after you deliver. If possible,
arrange for a caretaker at home, like a close
relative or friend, or a trusted maid. If
you must leave your baby in a crèche,
ensure that the crèche facilities are
here to know what an ideal crèche
- You are advised to give your baby exclusive
breastfeeding for six months, for optimum
nutritional, immunological, and psychological
benefits. Take a maternity leave certificate
from your doctor and try to get all leave
due to you, from your employer. Consider the
financial requirements of your household,
when you avail of unpaid leave.
- Attend the educational talks given in the
maternity home, where you go for pre-delivery
checks. Learn the technique of breastmilk
expression, which will help you when you resume
- If you must resume working before your
child is six months old, then follow these
(a) Feed your baby before you leave for work,
and feed him frequently after you return home.
(b) Feed him frequently through the night,
as and when he demands. Night feeding keeps
up your milk supply, while taking care of
the baby's nutritional and emotional needs.
(c) Before you leave for work, empty both
your breasts manually, and store the milk
in a sterile container. The container (wati/katori)
should be boiled for 10 minutes the previous
day, and sun-dried. You can easily remove
between 200 - 250 ml of milk form both breasts.
Cover the container. This milk can be stored
at room temperature for six hours ordinarily,
and for four hours in summer. If refrigerated,
expressed breastmilk can be stored for 24
hours. The milk is reheated before feeding.
This can be done, by keeping the milk container
in another (larger) container, containing
warm water. Contact your mother support group
leader, family physician or pediatrician in
case of difficulty.
(d) While at work, empty your breasts in
the ladies room whenever you have a feeling
of fullness (every 3-4 hours). This is important
to maintain the milk supply. You are advised
to store this milk in a container, or multiple
containers, that could be kept in a refrigerator
at your place of work. This milk could be
carried home, to be fed to your baby the next
day, when you are out at work. If you do not
have storage facility at your workplace, discard
the expressed milk, but do not forget to express.
Press your employer to arrange for a refrigerator
and a ladies room.
(e) DO NOT USE a bottle to feed your baby
at any stage. This will invite trouble in
the form of infections. This can also confuse
the child because the mechanism of getting
milk from the breast is different than that
form a bottle. A confused baby may refuse
(f) If your baby is more than four months
old, you could start him on appropriate weaning
foods after consulting your pediatrician or
family physician. You could avoid using animal
or powder milk by starting weaning foods.
This offsets the temptation of giving bottle
feeds to the baby.
- Remember that breastfeeding your baby is
your right, as much as it your babies right
to be breastfed. If you have the facility
of a crèche at you workplace, and you
work close to your house, carry your baby
with you, and breastfeed him whenever he wants.
Insist on crèche facility at your workplace.
A movement is on, to convince employers to
provide crèche facility for working