While most women know breast milk is best for babies, many don't stick with it the recommended length of time. One big obstacle is the challenge going back to work presents for working women.
Christa Dobbie understands. She nursed her son, and her second child, Briar, is seven-months old. She says the health benefits of breastfeeding made it a priority for her.
Her efforts started before each birth. Christa says she talked with her boss and created a plan to set aside time to pump and a place where Christa could do so in private.
Most women only take six to 12 weeks off work. But Stormont-Vail HealthCare lactation consultant Libby Rosen, RN says it's recommended babies be breastfed exclusively for six months and continue to get breast milk their entire first year. That means moms need to pump breast milk that can be stored so baby can drink it from a bottle when mom is away.
Rosen says women need support so they don't think it's an impossible task. She says they need strategies to make it work and be effective.
Timewise, Rosen says most women will need to pump once or twice during the day, and it takes only about 15 to 20 minutes. She says it's worth it for employers to get on board. She says breast milk boosts babies' immunity, so they're sick less often and, in turn, their mothers will call in sick less. That translates into reduced health insurance costs.
Christa says she's also fortunate to have the support of her coworkers. She works in a dental office, and says patients can't wait. If they're running behind, she still needs to step aside to take care of pumping, which her coworkers understand.
Christa says the benefits are worth any hassles, and she wouldn't have it any other way.
Support for Breastfeeding Moms
Breast Pumping Classes
Stormont-Vail Breastfeeding Clinic
1500 SW 10th St., Topeka, 4th floor
Breastfeeding Basics Class
6:30 to 8:30 pm, first Tuesday of every month
Pozez Education Center
Register by calling HealthConnections, 785-354-5225
World Breastfeeding Day Activities
Saturday, Aug. 9
Babies R Us (inside Toys R Us)
2190 SW Wanamaker, Topeka