How Nannies Can Support Breastfeeding Mothers Who Are Returning to Work

As more and more healthcare providers and baby care experts, including the World Health Organization, espouse the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding, new moms preparing for a return to work are faced with an additional worry. Hiring a nanny who is both eager to and capable of supporting breastfeeding is the ultimate goal of many new moms, which makes breastfeeding support an important skill for nannies to nurture.

Respect Mom’s Wishes

It’s uncomfortable for most moms to acknowledge, and generally impossible for a nanny to point out, but many childcare providers are actually more experienced and knowledgeable about parenting than their employees. That means that even if you understand that nipple confusion is largely considered to be a myth and that use of a pacifier is actually recommended as a valid means of helping to reduce the likelihood of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, you must respect the wishes of your breastfeeding employer. If she genuinely worries about nipple confusion potentially interfering with her ability to breastfeed, it’s important to respect her wishes completely by keeping that pacifier out of Baby’s mouth.

Encourage Her to Take Advantage of Affordable Care Act Amenities

Despite political affiliation or your personal beliefs regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the fact remains that parts of it have been implemented and that employer support of breastfeeding mothers is among the new mandates. If your employer’s workplace is compliant and offers facilities for her to privately express breast milk, encourage her to take advantage of them. Offer to pick up expressed breast milk so that your employer doesn’t have to worry about proper storage, and make sure that she’s equipped with everything that she needs to pump during her work day.

Understand the Fundamentals of Breastfeeding

If you’re not a parent or chose not to breastfeed your children, breastfeeding and breastfeeding support may actually be areas in which you’re not quite up to the educational par. Taking the time to understand the basics of pumping, storage and bottle-feeding the breastfed child can make a real difference in both the satisfaction of the family you’re working for and your ability to support a new mom as she learns the ropes of parenthood, breastfeeding and managing a career. Familiarizing yourself with the proper methods of storing and preparing stored milk is essential for today’s nanny, as is a basic understanding of the nutritional needs of a breastfed baby. Compared to their formula-fed brethren, breast-fed babies often require less per feeding and have less frequent bowel movements. Breast milk will differ in appearance from formula or cow’s milk, can be frozen for storage and has its own food safety requirements. Having a fundamental understanding of these basic tenets will make it much easier for a nanny to support her breastfeeding employer.

Work Out a Feasible Feeding Schedule

For many breastfeeding moms, the act of nursing is about bonding and spending time with their infant as much as providing him with sustenance. That’s why it’s important for nannies to avoid feeding an infant in the moments leading up to Mom’s return from work. After being separated from her new baby all day, she will probably be ready to nurse. While it goes without saying that you won’t want to deprive a growing newborn of the food he needs, it’s best to soothe a fussy baby if Mom’s due to return home within the next half-hour.

Keep a Feeding Log

In order to ensure that a breastfed baby is receiving the nutrition he needs when he’s being fed by several different people, it’s important to maintain and update a feeding log. Make sure that you record the times of each feeding, the amount of breast milk he takes at each session and any regurgitation that occurs. By recording this data and making sure that your mom boss is on the same page, you’re helping her to keep track of this important information while also showing that you’re both part of a team that’s dedicated to ensuring that your charge grows up strong and healthy.