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How to Return to Work While Breastfeeding


August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies be breastfed for the first 12 months of their life. If you are a new mom, you know this is often easier said than done. Breastfeeding can be difficult, time consuming and painful... However – it can also be rewarding and can help foster an even stronger bond between mother and child. In addition, breast milk has been shown to contain health benefits that can aid a child's health for years to come.

One of the biggest challenges facing a nursing mom is what to do when she has to go back to work. This is already an emotional and trying time and figuring out how to supply breast milk to your growing baby while working outside the home can be overwhelming. Here are some things to consider if you will be navigating this process in the near future.

First, plan ahead. If you feel comfortable, talk to your employer (either your boss or your HR department representative) about your plans to continue to breastfeed after returning to work. Your employer must provide you with a private and sanitary place to pump (not the bathroom stall!). Think about your work schedule and your baby's feeding schedule and determine what the best time(s) will be for you to pump. If your baby is young and nursing often, you may need to pump two or three times a day in order to maintain the appropriate milk supply. If your baby is older, once a day may be enough.

Also consider the equipment you will need. Where and how you will store the milk at work? A refrigerator is great but a good cooler will work too. And of course a high quality breast pump is worth the investment. Many maternity stores rent pumps. If you are having trouble finding a rental, ask the staff at your doctor's office or the OB department in your hospital.

It is important that you feel comfortable with pumping well before you return to work. Begin pumping well in advance – this will give you a chance to begin storing some milk and will also give your baby a chance to become comfortable with the bottle.

Work with your daycare provider to ensure that they understand your wishes in regards to the feeding of your baby. Be sure they understand that your breast milk is a valuable commodity – it should not go to waste! But, by the same token, it should be used too. Set guidelines for when and how other foods (or formula) can be given to your baby. Also establish a good system for the transfer and storage of breast milk. Make sure there is always a little extra milk on hand in case your baby has a growth spurt or extra milk is needed.

When you are home, breastfeed as often as possible. This will help prevent your milk supply from decreasing, which can be one of the biggest challenges a nursing working mom faces. Also, it can help both you and your baby feel connected to each other.

Even though the return to work can be a stressful time, try and take of yourself. Eat well, get as much sleep as possible and take time for yourself. If you are not healthy and rested, your milk supply will be affected which will only make the return to work more challenging. As with all things in motherhood, you cannot care for your child unless you take care of yourself first!

To learn more about the OB services and Family Birth Centers available at the Sacramento area Dignity Health hospitals, visit our website.

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Guide to Summertime
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Guide to Summertime Emergencies


Summertime is filled with fun adventures – camping, hiking, road trips, swimming... And while all of these activities can help create great memories for your family, sometimes they can bring with them some unexpected injuries and emergencies.

Here is a handy guide to help you with some simple first-aid for common summertime injuries. Bookmark this page and save it for future reference – you never know when you might need it.

If you find yourself in need of emergency care this summer, be sure to visit the Dignity Health Emergency Department webpage to see the wait times at our local Emergency Departments. You can reserve a time at the ER of your choice, which means you can wait in the comfort of your home rather than at the hospital. Just one of the ways we promote HumanKindness!

 

Do

 

Don't

Bad Sunburn?  
  • Apply cool-water-soaked cloths for about 20 minutes,
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever
  • Apply aloe to the burn.
  Do not use topical anesthetic sprays or antihistamines, as they could cause a skin reaction.

Burned by the grill or campfire?  
  • Wash affected area with cool water
  • Cover with a clean, damp cloth
  • Go to the hospital if there are breaks in the skin.
  Don't use salve, butter or anything other than water; covering the burn can trap the heat and make it worse.

Heat exhaustion?  
  • Move in to the shade
  • Drink lots of water/juice
  • Have a cool shower; use fans to cool down
  • Go to the hospital if sweating, nausea, cramps, dizziness or headaches persist.
  Don't drink alcohol or caffeine, as this will lead to further dehydration.
Blisters from hiking?  
  • Cover the blisters with gauze dressings or padded bandages, to help relieve pressure & continue walking
  Don't try to break the blisters, as it could lead to an infection.
Poison Ivy or Oak?  
  • Remove clothing
  • Wash skin with soap and cool water
  • Use an over-the-counter hydrocortisone for relief from itching.
  Do not put hands in your mouth or eyes, or touch any other bare skin.
Bee sting?  
  • Call 911 or use an EpiPen for a known reaction.
  • Try removing the stinger (it looks like a black dot) by gently scraping the area with the edge of a credit card
  • Clean with soap and water, and apply ice
  Do not use tweezers to remove the stinger, as that may actually squeeze more poison into the body.
Sprayed by a skunk?  
  • Flush eyes with clean water
  • Bathe in tomato juice, lemon juice or a mixture of 1/4 cup baking soda, about 4 cups of white wine vinegar & 1 tsp dish detergent
  Don't worry – skunk spray just has a bad odor but is not harmful.
Snake Bite?  
  • Call 911
  • Remove rings, watches or tight clothing
  • Keep still to prevent the venom from circulating
  Do not try to suck out the poison – it exposes you to it and increases the risk of infection at the site.

Don't apply a tourniquet near the bite as that will cut off circulation and damage tissue.

Nosebleed?  
  • With thumb & forefinger, press firmly on the soft part right below the bony part of the nose for 10 minutes.
  • Tip head forward to prevent swallowing blood
  • Repeat for another 10 minutes if bleeding doesn't stop
  • Head to a hospital if it continues
  Don't put anything up the nose, such as a tissue. Don't pull on any scabs that have formed, or the bleeding will start again.
Motion sickness on a road trip?  
  • Focus on a non-moving object in the distance
  • Pull over and take a short break
  • Use anti-nausea medication if there is no relief
  Don't overeat, and completely avoid greasy snacks during the trip.
Near Drowning?  
  • Call 911
  • Check for pulse if victim is unconscious
  • If absent, begin CPR immediately while waiting for paramedics to arrive
  Don't move the victim, unless absolutely necessary, to reduce potential for spinal injuries.

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