The Smart Solutions Toolkit for Working Mothers was created by Danielle Heller to provide solutions to everyday challenges facing working mothers. The Toolkit is filled with easy-to-use tools including planners, tear-off pads, a CD with downloadable templates, wallet-size forms, and much more.

Within the Smart Solutions Toolkit there are a number of resources to help new moms continue to breastfeed after returning to work. The creator of the Smart Solutions Toolkit for Working Mothers, Danielle Heller, is a working, nursing mother of two. She nursed both of her daughters for two years (as recommended by the World Health Organization) and pumped at work for 18 months with each child. When she re-entered the workplace after her maternity leave, Danielle, like so many other working mothers, returned to a workplace that did not provide adequate breast milk pumping space. She created a Breast Milk Pumping Space Proposal Template (one of the resources provided in the Smart Solutions Toolkit) to help gain the support of her employer as she worked to provide her daughters with the optimal nutrition that breastfeeding provides. As a major supporter of working breastfeeding mothers, Danielle has incorporated a number of resources to help other mothers successfully breastfeed/pump after returning to work. Among them are the following tips.

Breastfeeding and Returning to Work

Breastfeeding Tip 1:

Gaining worksite support for moms who wish to continue to breastfeed after returning to work can make a tremendous difference in decreasing the challenges associated with pumping at work. More and more, forward-thinking companies are realizing the significant benefits of providing support for their working mother employees. The Breast Milk Pumping Space Proposal Template outlines the business case for why employers should support breastfeeding mothers and how it can ultimately improve their bottom-line.

Breastfeeding Tip 2:

As my mother always told me, practice makes perfect. Pumping is no exception. One of the worst mistakes new mothers make is not “learning” how to pump before they go back to work. It takes practice, and trying to figure it out on the first day back in the office, or the week before starting, can be a recipe for failure. Nursing moms should start pumping weeks before returning to work, not only to store-up on breast milk for the baby, but also to get used to learning how to pump efficiently and effectively.

Breastfeeding Tip 3:

Thank goodness for convenience items when it comes to pumping at work. Some favorites: Microwavable Steam Sterilizer and Microwavable Sterilizer Bags (to sterilize bottle and breast pump parts at work), travel sterilization wipes, zip-lock breast milk storage bags, breast milk car adapter/battery pack. I would also suggest purchasing a hands-free pumping bra and a trendy pashmina or large scarf for extra security and privacy (perfect for pumping in the car or other less than ideal locations).

On a personal note from Danielle:

I am a firm believer that nursing (when possible) provides major health benefits for both the infant and mother. Expressing breast milk not only has a positive impact on the immediate health of the infant and mother, but also establishes the basis for a healthy future. It’s not easy, but it is worth the effort, and the Smart Solutions Toolkit is there to help.

To learn more, visit www.smartsolutionstoolkit.com. The toolkit is available online as of August 1st, 2010.

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