Medela has partnered with Roz Kelly, Australian sports presenter and second time Mama, for advice on returning to work whilst breastfeeding and what she has learned from the challenges she faced in the early days of breastfeeding.
Medela: Having a baby is an exciting and sometimes overwhelming time. What breastfeeding advice would you give to new mothers that you wish you had of known before you started breastfeeding?
Roz: Your emotions can have a great impact on your ability to produce milk. If you are stressed, rushed or overwhelmed, take a few moments to just breathe and slow down before feeding or pumping. Calm mama, calm baby.
Medela: Could you tell us about any challenges that you experienced in the early days of breastfeeding and how you overcame them?
Roz: Mastitis was one of the worst experiences of my breastfeeding journey with my first born. It was painful, confusing and really emotional. I knew nothing about it until it hit me hard a week post-partum.
I tried every trick in the book to get me through it… cabbage leaves on my boobs, hot showers, cold packs, strange feeding positions… but I’m glad I didn’t give up on breastfeeding because I continued to feed my son for just over a year which was really special.
Medela: How did using a breast pump assist you in the early days and beyond?
Roz: The hum of the breast pump is the soundtrack of my life at the moment!
My Medela Freestyle has been a game changer because it enables me to pump on the go which is essential when you are a working mother and also have a busy three-year-old boy who won’t let you sit down!
Medela: How has the breast pump helped with your transition back to work?
Roz: My feeding journeys with my boys have been polar opposites. With my first, Ari, I took a solid year out so completely weaned by the time I went back to work on a freelance basis – which was good because he was NEVER interested in taking a bottle.
However, with my second son, Leo, I returned to work part-time when he was four months so a breast pump has become my main accessory! It’s enabled me to build up a solid stockpile of milk which gives me a lot of peace of mind knowing he will never go hungry if I get held up at work or called away with little notice.
Medela: What are your top tips for other mums who would like to continue breastfeeding when they return to work?
Roz: Be open and honest about your breastfeeding journey with your colleagues so you aren’t put in any situation where you may feel too uncomfortable to pump or can’t pump.
How would you describe your own breastfeeding journey? What advice do you wish someone had given you before you got started? Let’s have a chat and support each other.