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5 Challenges Breastfeeding Moms Face When Returning to Work

August is National Breastfeeding month, and in honor of that, we have the pleasure of talking with Joy Kosak, a breastfeeding advocate as well as the owner of two breastfeeding-related businesses. She’s an expert.

She was kind enough to detail five challenges that breastfeeding moms face when they re-enter the workforce.

  • 5 Challenges Breastfeeding Moms Face 1 of 6
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    Image via  www.konnect-pr.com

  • 1. Understanding Equipment 2 of 6
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    The Affordable Care Act entitles you to a free breast pump. Do your homework when your insurance provider gives you a list of equipment providers to call to obtain your breast pump, for example, Consumer Reports offers reviews and ratings. Speak up if your insurance provider doesn't offer a pump that meets your needs. This provision is really new, so as insurance providers implement the new legislation your voice will count.  You can also navigate this process using Pumping Essentials,  a new organization that is bridging the gap between new moms and insurance providers by serving as the middle-man and handling all communication and paperwork on behalf of new moms, at no additional cost.

     

    Image via Pumping Essentials

  • 2. Negotiating With Your Employer 3 of 6
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    Human Resources job is to help you at times such as this, so don't hesitate to ask them to help guide you through the process.  Be sure you understand your rights, which you can access through the US Department of Labor in the Fair Labor Standards Act. Defining your expectations and establishing an agreement prior to maternity leave will help reduce chaos when you return back to work.

     

    Image via OfDoom

  • 3. Returning to a Predominantly Male Industry 4 of 6
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    Again, utilize HR to handle any awkward situations. Reference the Business Case for Breastfeeding, a resource for employers from the Office on Women's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

     

    Image via mconnors

  • 4. Knowing the ABCs of Breastfeeding and Pumping 5 of 6
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    Learn as much as possible before returning to work. Isis Parenting, a leader in the parenting space for 10 years and partner of Pumping Essentials, offers "Pump Talk," an online series all about pumping and nursing. Additionally they offer free weekly webinars for any mom with questions about breastfeeding, pumping and newborn care.

     

    Image via Kevin_P

  • 5. Tackling the First Day Back 6 of 6
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    Scheduling your first day back on a Wednesday or Thursday will make for a smoother transition. Get familiar with your pump and the process of pumping before returning to work so you don't waste your valuable break time learning your machine. Wear easy-access clothing and make a schedule so you know when you're going to pump, which will help you maintain a constant milk supply.

     

    Image via puravida

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