Your baby still requires the milk that they drink to be their main source of nutrition until they are one year old so it is encouraged that babies are continued to be fed responsively.
It can be that mothers find that, as the baby is now eating some solids, their baby isn’t emptying their breasts as well as they had been doing before introducing solids. It is important that mothers are aware that this could lead to possible issues, including mastitis, even if they have never suffered with this problem before. This is easily dealt with if addressed early.
When you start to introduce solids your baby may start to reduce the amount of breastfeeds that they have during the day. It can be common at this stage that babies get distracted by the smallest thing during feeds. You may find that you need to reduce other stimuli during feeds at this time. It can also lead to babies feeding more during the night because there are fewer distractions.
If you are returning to work or study that doesn’t have to be the end of your breastfeeding journey if you do not want it to be.
Going back to work may be the first time you have been separated from your baby for long periods. It can be a difficult time for you and your baby. Continuing to breastfeed is one way to maintain the close relationship you have built up, providing your baby with extra comfort and security.
There are various ways in which you can combine breastfeeding with going back to work:
If there is a workplace nursery or other childcare very close to your workplace, you may be able to visit your baby during the working day and breastfeed normally.
If you cannot visit your baby during the working day, you can express breast milk.
You may decide to partially breastfeed, which means that you breastfeed your baby when you are at home but the baby is given formula milk while you are at work.
Your employer/place of study should make reasonable arrangements to enable you to take breaks to feed your baby or express whilst at work. You will need to talk to your employer about where you can express milk and when. By Law you must be provided with a suitable place to express. You should also be able to take flexible breaks to express and have a clean fridge available to store your expressed milk. Ask your employer if they have a breastfeeding policy so that you can be familiar with what support your employer offers.
You have the right to ask for flexible working at work, and you should make this application 3 or 4 months before you plan to return to work where possible.
Click here for more information and support relating to going back to work.