Working Women and Breastfeeding

It's world breastfeeding week and on Monday, we brought you a story of a woman who has breastfed all of her children. But for some women the breastfeeding relationship has to extend into the workplace. Carmen Devney has three children and she has breastfed all of them.

"My husband and I talked about it and we decided that if it would work for us then we were going to breastfeed our babies for at least a full year," she says.

But as a working mom, that meant bringing the pump to work.

"I'm fortunate to have an office that closes where I can do it privately, but everybody in the office has made me feel comfortable. I've never felt awkward, nervous or shy about it," she says.

Devney needs to pump every few hours to keep up her supply, and her boss says they never thought twice about supporting her through it.

"It was just really about communicating about how best to balance our need to have her continue her excellent work for us, and her need to be the attentive mother of a newborn that she wanted to be," says Kent Brick the editor of North Dakota Living Magazine.

But being a breastfeeding working mom isn't always easy, and some women have to stop. But lactation consultants say with work it can be done.

"At night, they should be breastfeeding their babies when they're at home. And if their milk supply is a little low, maybe do a little pumping afterwards just to encourage the supply to increase," says RN Bonnie Cook.

She said it's also a good idea to drink plenty of fluids and eat foods with high protein.

Anyone with questions can visit with a lactation consultant in Bismarck on Wednesdays from noon to 2:30 p.m. at St. Alexius.

KFYR TV
Jessica Roose, Reporting