Friday, June 29, 2012

Returning to work for the nursing mother...

I dreaded returning to work after having Jack. I thought I would be an emotional mess every day until I was able to stay home with him.

Interestingly enough, I have yet to cry over missing him. I miss him so much throughout the day, but it is so reassuring knowing he is at home with his Daddy and that this is not a permanent set up. It has also been so much more enjoyable at work since I have a new position that helps me feel fulfilled.

I was worried about returning to work and keeping up with his eating schedule. As he grows he will only eat more and more at each meal. At my office we have a lactaction room for nursing mothers to use to pump breastmilk. We are scheduled to use this room twice a day. I wasn't sure if twice a day would allow me to continue my milk production to the extent Jack needs.

I look forward to my trips to this room as it is a little break from the daily grind, it is secluded so I have some alone time at the office, and it allows me to think about my baby and the fact that I am able to nourish him. Seems a little silly, but other nursing mothers understand. You get such satisfaction from being able to feed your child. If I am unable to nurse him then providing breastmilk for him is the next best thing.

Well, milk production certainly isn't a problem for this momma! I am so thankful my supply meets Jack's demand and then some! Every day I come home with enough milk for him for the next day and am able to save some in the freezer for future use. This is reassuring since I don't know if my supply will  begin to wane. Plus, when I am ready to stop pumping Jack will still be able to have some milk for a while longer.

When he is between 4-6 months old we plan to introduce solid foods. I am very excited to get a baby food processor to make our own baby food! So many fun options this way, plus it's cheaper! Between 12-18 months I'll plan to stop pumping and allow my milk to decrease. At this point I'll still plan to either give him 1 bottle a day of milk or mix it with his other drinks at that time.

All mothers should do everything in their power to take advantage of their milk while they can. It is free food, it is extremely beneficial for baby, and it helps take off those pregnancy pounds! I have always been a size 0, but my weight fluctuates around 15 or so pounds when I am not pregnant. Before finding out Jack was on the way I was at the high end of that fluctuation. Now, I do weigh less than pre-pregnancy, but more than that, My pants from pre-pregnancy are loose! I have pants that were too snug to wear in public pre-pregnancy that now fit with rom to spare around the waist! When I order new pants I order 0 petites so they fit well. Nursing/pumping puts the pounds on baby and takes them off Mommy! It's a win-win all around!

So many benefits to nursing. I don't understand when mothers choose not to. I am so thankful for this gift. I truly think of it as a gift. It draws me closer to my baby, helps our bank account (even though we probably over spend on all other things baby!), is super healthy for baby, and has helped me get into great shape post baby!