The following information was granted to us by the International Lactation Consultant Association to use in educating mothers on successful ways to keep breastfeeding going when returning to the work place. Please keep in mind that breast milk is the BEST choice but sometimes formula must be chosen during the working hours when mothers are not allowed to pump at work or have no place to pump in the work place. You can do both breast and formula once your milk supply is well established and it is necessary to return to your job at 6 weeks. If your baby cannot be brought to you to feed, or you work longer than a 4-5 hour stretch, you may need to use formula if you cannot pump at work. Try to pump ahead and save as much breast milk as you can in the weeks ahead of returning to your job. It will take some time at first, but gradually as you express milk with a pump, the amount will increase. Any time that you are home with your baby, breastfeed as much as possible. Weekend nursing and days off are vital times to build your supply and to reconnect to your child. Frequent nursing keeps your breastfeeding relationship strong and will protect your milk supply. It often is stressful those first days away from baby, but be good to your self and EAT, SLEEP, and REST whenever possible!
Please check our Legislation page for additional information about breastfeeding support in the workplace and your legal rights.
There is an option to exclusively use breast milk if you choose and can pay the fee for banked human milk. In Kalamazoo, Michigan at Bronson Hospital, there is a FDA and CDC approved Human Milk Bank that accepts healthy milk that goes through rigorous sterilization and screening tests (regulated just as blood banks are). If your baby has a medical diagnosis that recommends breast milk, insurance may pay the cost when a physician order is presented. Sometimes a mother may have a serious disease or chronic illness herself, and cannot breastfeed, then she may get her physician to order human milk for her baby with insurance approval. Most states now in the US have regulated human milk banks for breast milk donations and distribution. Contact your local lactation consultant for more information.