Breastfeeding and Work: Jane’s Story

Jane contacted me because she had returned to work and she was worried about her milk production. Her baby, Ernie, was 3 months old and she’d just started working 3 days/week. We set up a phone consultation and she shared the following:

  • Away from her baby 8:30 a.m. To 4:00 p.m.
  • Pumps twice a day at the office for about 25 minutes each time.
  • Tries to pump at home so she can increase her supply as her baby grows.
  • Leaving 4 bottles of milk at the day care each day.
  • Ernie drinks 2-3 bottles at day care.
  • Feels rested and Ernie is thriving.
  • Eating milkmakers cookies for milk production.

I talked to Jane about a strategy to help with her milk production. But first I pointed out that she was pumping more milk than Ernie was drinking! I also assured her that Ernie’s milk intake is not going to increase much in the next few months. Breast milk is very efficient. Six month olds generally drink about the same amount as 3 month olds. This was good news!

My suggestions included:

  • Breastfeed baby when dropping off and picking up at day care.
  • Pump 3x/day for 15 minutes or so. (less tiring and stressful)
  • Leave 3 bottles at day care each day instead of 4.
  • Eliminate pumping when at home.
  • Try eating milkmakers while pumping to help with the let down reflex.

Jane was relieved to learn that she was meeting her baby’s needs. She was also thrilled that she did not have to pump extra at home to keep up with Ernie’s growth. In addition, even though she lives 3000 miles away, she has a lactation consultant that can help her if she encounters difficulties in the future.

Are you returning to work soon?  Wondering how to pump enough milk for your baby, get all your work done AND get a decent amount of sleep?  You don’t have to live in Seattle to receive expert guidance from a lactation consultant. I am available for phone consultations for moms anywhere. You may reach me at  Send me an email and I’ll call you the same day to set up a “meeting.”  I will help you develop a customized plan for meeting your baby’s needs while you’re at work or school.

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