How to maintain breastfeeding after returning to work?

Breast milk has many benefits for the baby, as it has all the necessary proteins, fats and sugars and elements that protect the baby from diseases that the mother has suffered from.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends breastfeeding for the first six months. However, in Spain, breastfeeding has to be resumed four months after childbirth, so many mothers cannot breastfeed their baby for long enough. Fortunately, there are now techniques for storing and preserving breast milk so that the baby can drink it even if the mother is not present.

Storing breast milk

Returning to work not only means not having as much time to breastfeed, but it can also mean a drastic drop in breast milk production due to the stress and distress levels caused by an early separation. This is why two techniques for storing breast milk are recommended in pediatric practices:

  • Milk bank: after the baby is satiated, you can try to express the leftover milk with the breast pump, which is stored in special bags, the date of extraction is marked and frozen to be used when the mother is not with the baby.
  • Collection cups: these are silicone membranes that fit over the nipples and collect breast milk while working, and then freeze it when you get home.

Preserving breast milk

To conserve and administer milk correctly, the tips to follow are:

  • Fractionate expressed milk in small quantities (60-120 ml).
  • Preferably use milk collection bags or hard plastic or glass containers with airtight lids that are clean and boiled.
  • Expressed milk can be stored for four to eight hours at room temperature, as long as it is cool, for up to 48 hours in the refrigerator and for up to three months in the freezer.