by Kristi Corley
You’re exhausted, you feel constricted to a 2-3 hour window of errands, and there’s the constant fear that your baby will get hungry and begin crying right in the middle of your outing. Timing. Sleep schedules. Date night? (what’s that?) We asked two women, “Can you breastfeed and and still have a life?” Here are their tips for making it work.
Michelle Ross, RN BSN IBCLC, Board Certified Lactation Consultant at Winnie Palmer Hospital, answered three popular questions from nursing moms.
1. Can I breastfeed and still have a life?
Absolutely! What is your personal comfort level when nursing in public? There are great options to help cover you up. We suggest cover ups or lightweight blankets as the best option. We offer a variety of slings at our outpatient maternal education location at 1301 Sligh Blvd., right behind Winnie Palmer Hospital. We demonstrate how to wear the sling comfortably at our Mother/Baby Tea every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, until your baby is 8 weeks old. The Mother/Baby Tea is also a great opportunity to connect with other nursing moms.
2. What if I want to go out to dinner?
Breastfeed your baby before leaving, and leave a bottle for your sitter. You can even have one glass of wine or beer while on your date; the AAP suggests waiting two hours before putting your baby back to the breast.
3. What if I plan to go back to work?
If you are working more than part time, you will need a good dual breast pump. It will allow you to pump quicker. During an 8 hour day, pump twice, 15 minutes each time. When you are at home with your baby, still breastfeed! That is the best way to keep your supply up. Two weeks before you go back to work, pump one extra bottle each day – that will help to build your supply.
Sabrina Bathhalter, a recently new mommy had a rough start to breastfeeding. But once she found her groove, she discovered how breastfeeding could work with her busy life:
1. When it seems impossible, don’t give up. Keep trying.
2. Ask for help. A lactation consultant can help you if you are having trouble.
3. If you need to supplement, supplement. But don’t feel like you have to give up altogether.
4. Pump your milk and store it in the freezer. This will give you more freedom to be on-the-go.
5. If you can pump and store, I recommend a plug-in cooler for the car to protect the “Liquid Gold.”
- When I was pumping, I would pump while driving to and from work.
- I would also pump while eating lunch in my office and while eating dinner in the evening.
- And I would pump one side while feeding my baby on the other side.
7. Be prepared with your choice of clothing. I usually double layer my clothes or wear something I can pull down instead of up. I may already be exposing a breast; I don’t need to show my belly also!
8. Find a practical bra. I use the Moving Comfort Juno sports bra. All or most of the Moving Comfort Bras use Velcro in the front so you can pull them down, and they have superior support.
9. Timing is everything. If you are uncomfortable breast feeding in public, plan your outings between feeding times.
10. Keep perspective. This is an opportunity to bond with your child, not an obligation that is cramping your style. Remind yourself of this when you’re having a rough day.