Monday, March 7, 2011

On Nursing and Working...

This is all quoted from here, the blog of a medical doctor and mother whose opinion I highly respect. It shows how crazy time-consuming breast-feeding is. I'm still at the pumping while at work thing, but IS hard to do.

In the first few months of life, the time it takes to nurse a baby is equivalent to a 8-9 hour work day for most women. Most babies will drain a breast in about 12-15 minutes if they are eager and actively feeding but babies often stay on the breast for up to 20 minutes or even 30 minutes at a time. Therefore, if you sit down, feed your baby on the right, feed you baby on the left, burp the baby and then change the inevitable diaper:  poof, one hour.  And, most newborns feed up to 8-10 times daily. 1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1+1. Math is easy when you do it this way.  Breastfeeding alone is a full time job for the first few months.
Therefore, mothers who go back to work early in their newborns life are really tackling the challenges of a few jobs: the mom job, the milk supplier, and the worker bee. Challenge, yes. Surmountable, of course, but this study points out some flaws in our expectation of the singular worker bee-milk-supplier-momma-person.
  • Woman were less likely to continue breastfeeding if they went back to work before 12 weeks (the average for all women in the study was return to work at 10 weeks).
  • Stress level and position at work (if inflexible or not a supervisor level) affect women’s ability to continue breastfeeding.
  • Women with maternity leave for less than or equal to 6 weeks had a threefold increased risk of quitting breastfeeding compared to moms who didn’t return to work.


Rach said...

I am really impressed that you're still pumping at work. Awesome job! I totally believe that it is ridiculously hard. I don't know how long you plan to nurse, but the one comfort is they do get SO much faster. My Judah probably "drains a breast" in like three minutes these days.

Kacie said...

Yep, rach, that's the good part. My Judah has always been fast, so I'm super thankful for that. I do hate that with pumping I have to freeze, and Isaac has to thaw, and prepare a bottle at just the right time, and then clean and wash and sanitize... all of that is super time consuming, and when milk ends up sitting out waiting for Judah to wake up, or other reasons, throwing away a bunch of it is so painful..