Each family will be part of a working and breastfeeding
situation that is unique to them. For this reason, it is
recommended that a breastfeeding mother who is employed
outside the home contact a lactation consultant or La Leche
League Leader to discuss her situation. These resource
persons will have ideas to share to help make the transition
as smooth as possible. Some factors to be considered are:
• The age of the baby when the mother returns to work makes
a difference. The older the baby, the easier the transition
may be. A six month old baby can start solids and start
drinking from a cup while a six week old baby needs to nurse
on a two to three hour schedule. The mother’s physical
recovery at six weeks postpartum also needs to be taken into
• Each job will pose its own considerations. What is the
stress level? Will it be full-time, part-time or flex-time?
Will the mother start with part time and work into full time
hours? Many different ideas are available in the book, Of
Cradles and Careers: A Guide to Reshaping Your Job to
include a Baby in Your Life by Kaye Lowman which is
available from La Leche League International. It can be
helpful in answering some of your questions and offers some
creative alternatives to established 9-to-5 jobs. The
Working Woman’s Guide to Breastfeeding by Nancy Dana and
Anne Price is another excellent resource.
• The care of the baby when separated from its mother is an
important consideration that requires some advance planning.
Some women are able to take their baby to work with them, at
least while the baby is very small. Fathers or other family
members are sometimes able to care for the baby while mother
works. If a daycare provider is used, choose one near the
mother’s place of employment rather than near her home.
Choose a caregiver who will give your baby individual care
and is supportive of breastfeeding.
TO THE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES MAIN PAGE