No you don’t have to stop; lots of women combine working with breastfeeding,
there is no reason why you can’t be one of them. It isn’t as difficult
as it sounds and once you have established a routine it won’t be any more
difficult than bottle-feeding.
Express some extra milk after a feed and store to give when you are at work.
Then express the normal feed you would have missed while at work and store it
in a refrigerator, transfer it to the freezer when you get home. This expressed
breast feeding (EBM) can be stored in the freezer for up to three months. It’ll
mean you always having a fresh feed ready for your next shift and you’ll
soon get into a pattern, expressing quickly and easily. A photo of your baby
next to you and a quiet room will help.
Employers MUST by law allow new mothers the opportunity to express milk or
to have their baby brought to them for a feed. The Maternity Alliance gives
advice to employees and employers on their rights and responsibilities: www.maternityalliance.org.uk.
The length of time you breastfeed for is your choice! If you wish to stop breastfeeding
to return to work, then try to wean your baby over a few weeks. Stopping suddenly
would be traumatic for your baby and can make you quite sore and engorged. If
you want to stop breastfeeding altogether, give a formula feed once a day to
start with and gradually introduce more. You might find your baby will not take
a formula feed from you. This is because they can smell your breastmilk on you,
and prefer it! If that is the case, your partner will need to feed him.
If you want to continue to breastfeed, but need to return to work, then start
to get used to expressing. Do this after your baby has fed (so the poor love
isn’t deprived of food) and freeze it for when you are at work. While
at work, simply express the feed you would have given him and store it in the
fridge. This prevents your milk supply from being affected and means baby has
his milk fix sorted for the next day, that’s if you remember to take it
with you when you leave work!