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Supporting Working Women

Supporting Working Women

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Supporting Working Women

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  1. Supporting Working Women

  2. Sneak Preview – Section 5 • Learning objective: Identify at least 3 common challenges to sustaining breastfeeding after women return to work, and a strategy for addressing each. • Topics: Solutions for emotional, physical, and worksite considerations • Handout E: “Solutions for Working Mothers” • Resources in The Business Case for Breastfeeding • Folder #4, “Employees’ Guide to Breastfeeding and Working” • Folder #5, “Outreach Marketing Guide”

  3. Supporting Working Women Ways to Use this Section • Provide classes at businesses • Train health care professionals • Guide support group discussion • One-on-one counseling • Integrate into community education for new families

  4. Your Role in Supporting New Families • Support the family’s goals • Advocate for the family • Encourage worksite support • Offer education and support • Share resources • Work for community changes • Serve as liaison with employers See Folder #5, “Outreach Marketing Guide” for lesson plans and other ideas

  5. Welcome to My World

  6. Cultural Perspectives • Considering cultural issues are critical in assisting both new mothers and their employers • Avoid making generalizations or assumptions about cultural groups • Exercise sensitivity for cultural differences that are relevant to specific population groups you serve

  7. Balancing Breastfeeding and Employment • Delicate balance • Infant formula advertising/prominence in society • Breastfeeding can seem dispensable in the face of challenges • Provide solutions framed as “options”

  8. Ideas that Work:Return to Work Options • Explore options with supervisor • Return part-time at first • Work a 4-day work week (take off a day mid-week) • Telecommute • Job share • Split shifts • Return toward end of the week

  9. Emotional Considerations • Role and family conflicts • Competing demands • Fatigue/sleep deprivation • Sadness • Depression • Guilt

  10. Ideas that Work:Preparing the Mother for Separation • Plan ahead • Breastfeed exclusively during maternity leave • Get help with early concerns • Practice milk expression (especially at early a.m. feeds) • Attend classes

  11. Ideas that Work:Preparing the Baby for Separation • Breastfeed exclusively the first 3-4 weeks • If mothers choose to offer milk in other ways, they can choose from several options, including bottle, cup, dropper, spoon, or syringe • “Reverse cycle feeding” • Start baby in child care early to ease transition

  12. Ideas that WorkDealing with Mommy Sadness • Breastfeeding helps mothers connect • Babies usually cope well • Connect with other working mothers • It’s normal to feel guilty about wanting to work

  13. Ideas that Work:Minimizing Stress after Returning to Work • Plan ahead • Think through options beforehand • Develop routines • Take a practice “trial run” • Download checklist www.workandpump.com and www.milkmemos.com • Enlist partner support • Take care of herself

  14. Child Care Considerations • Financial Impact • Can cost more than tuition • 10-30% of family income • Many mothers turn to family • Child care centers not always supportive

  15. Ideas that WorkChild Care Options • On-site child care • Bring baby to work • Bring baby to work during meal period • Choose a provider near workplace

  16. Physical Considerations • Breast concerns • Uncomfortable fullness/engorgement • Leaking • Real or perceived low milk production

  17. Ideas that Work:Maintaining Milk Production • Milk production a continuous process • Frequent breast drainage necessary • Breastfeed early and often • Access professional lactation support • “Find a Lactation Consultant Directory” www.ilca.org See “Resource Guide” in Folder #3 for lactation resources

  18. Ideas that Work:The “Magic” Number • When home with baby count number of times baby feeds on cue • This is her “magic” number • Keep the “magic” number steady after returning to work to maintain production • # of direct feedings + # of milk expression sessions = magic number • Using stockpile of expressed milk without continuing to express will decline production Concept used with permission from Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC

  19. Ideas that WorkHow Much Milk Baby Needs • Milk production constant at 25-35 ounces daily (3-4 ounces per feed) from 1-6 months (Kent 2006) • To calculate baby’s needs: • Divide 24-hour period into fractions • 8-hour work day is 1/3 of 24 hours • 12-hour work day is 1/2 of 24 hours • Divide average of 30 ounces into fractions • 1/3 of 30 ozs. is 10 ozs. • 1/2 of 30 ozs. is 15 ounces • Baby’s needs highly variable • Store milk in 2-3 oz. amounts to minimize waste (Morhbacher/Ameda.com)

  20. Ideas that Work:Rebuilding Declining Production • Breastfeed more often at home with baby • Breastfeed at night • Add a milk expression session when milk volume is higher • Know impact of medications • Be sure pump is working • Contact an IBCLC

  21. Ideas that Work:Milk Expression Tips • Bring baby items that appeal to 5 senses • Drink something warm • Warm washcloth • Massage • Visualize milk flow • Avoid looking at collection bottle

  22. Workplace Considerations • Lack of privacy • Job settings and work schedules • Jobs that require constant physical presence • Travel • Schedule disruptions • Inappropriate comments at work • Shyness in discussing needs with supervisor

  23. Considerations of Low Wage Earners • Physical environment at work • Erratic work schedules • Multiple jobs • Lack of familial support • Lack of job security • Perception of being easily replaced (Ehrenreich 2000)

  24. Ideas that Work:Dealing with Supervisors and Colleagues • Discuss how lactation support benefits the company • Approach a company nurse or wellness staff • Document your need. You can use the template letter in Folder #4 to communicate your needs. See Folder #4, “Employees’ Guide to Breastfeeding and Working” for “Dear Supervisor” letter and Folder #5, “Outreach Marketing Resources” CD-ROM for template letter to a supervisor from mother’s physician

  25. Ideas that Work:Dealing with Other Workplace Challenges • Express milk before meetings • Communicate needs to supervisors • Seek creative ways to gain privacy • Access other working mothers for support

  26. Resources for Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers • International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) “Find a Lactation Consultant Directory” at www.ilca.org and local US Lactation Consultant Association “chapters” • La Leche League, International at www.lalecheleague.org • Human Milk Banking Association of North America for milk storage guidelines at www.hmbana.org