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Returning To Work While Breastfeeding: Tips from UPMC in Central Pa.

Although the U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010 requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide moms with babies younger than one year of age with a private place to pump (other than a bathroom), maintaining breastfeeding while working can present significant challenges.

Pumping At Work

If you wish to continue breastfeeding after you return to work, you may have to consider pumping to maintain an adequate milk supply. Your lactation consultant can advise you on breast milk storage practices, help you select a breast pump, and give you advice on efficient pumping in the office. UPMC Pinnacle also offers a range of high-quality breast pumps for rent or purchase.

Note: One aspect of the ACA requires health plans to cover breastfeeding support and supplies. Every plan is different, so it is important to contact your provider before your baby is born in order to understand your coverage. Here is additional ACA information (PDF) to help you acquire a breast pump.

Things to Consider

Before you return to work, it may help to consider how you will fit pumping into your routine. You should plan to take the following steps:

  • Discuss your needs with your employer.
  • Organize your day to incorporate regular pumping sessions.
  • Wear comfortable clothes with easy access for pumping.
  • Find a place to store your breast milk.
  • Take healthy snacks.
  • Drink plenty of water.

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