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Q&A: How do I deal with going back to work?

My baby is three and a half months old, and I've been breastfeeding this whole time, but now I have to go back to work. I don't know how I'll handle not feeding my baby during the day. How do I deal?

Re: My baby is three and a half months old, and I've been breastfeeding this whole time, but now I have to go back to work. I don't know how I'll handle not feeding my baby during the day. How do I deal?

The Bump Expert

Get a good pump, some sweet baby pics for your desk, and a caregiver you trust…and you'll be fine. Yes, it may be tough. And yes, you may miss those daytime feedings. But here's the good news: Your sappy thoughts of baby might help you pump more milk. (It's said to be easier to get the milk flowing when baby's on your mind.)

Map out a plan for pumping at your workplace (talk to your boss about it well before your first day back on the job), and try to pump as often as your baby normally eats. Expressing milk will allow you to continue to give baby all the benefits of an exclusively breastfed diet, will keep you from getting engorged, and will maintain your milk supply. Returning to work can be emotionally tough for any mom -- take heart in knowing you're leaving baby with a little bit of you and that you two can reconnect by nursing at the end of the day.

Erin van Vuuren