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Working Without Weaning

Just when you and your baby have gotten into the swing of life together -- yikes! -- it's time to go back to work. For some moms, the thought of continuing to breastfeed while working seems daunting. And we're not going to lie to you: It's a bit of a challenge at first. But so was motherhood in general, and you pulled that off pretty well, right? Once you get into the routine, breastfeeding and working will get easier. Your baby will continue to get all that top-notch nutrition and enhanced immunity, while you'll be promoting your own long-term health, including possibly lowering your risk of breast cancer and osteoporosis. Plus, when the workday is over, you and your baby can still cuddle up together and enjoy all the convenience and closeness of breastfeeding. Here's how to make it happen:

Psych yourself up Realize that adjusting to the new demands of working and pumping breast milk will be about all you can handle at first. Don't take on extra projects during this time -- remodeling, volunteering, and fancy cooking can wait. Make taking care of yourself a priority. You need to eat well, get enough sleep, and have time to relax if it's going to work.

Lay the groundwork Introduce your baby to a bottle two to three weeks before you go back to work so he has time to get used to it. Several companies now offer nipples designed with a wide base to mimic the shape of a breast; experiment to find one your baby prefers. It also helps to have someone else -- Dad or your mom, for instance -- offer the first few bottle-feedings so your baby will accept it more easily.

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