You have a pump. Now what do you do? Give yourself and your baby at least 2 weeks prior to returning to work to practice with pump and bottle, as well as to build up a small inventory of frozen milk and enough ounces of fresh milk for the first day or two at work.

Remember that to your breasts, the pump is a substitute for your baby, so try to pump at the same intervals that you would be nursing your baby in order to keep your milk supply at the level it has adjusted to. 

Note on frozen milk: There is no need for a freezer full of milk. Frozen milk loses many antibodies, so it’s best to use fresh milk as much as possible. You really only need to stay a day or two ahead of baby at all times. If it makes you feel better to have a larger inventory, go for it, but it’s not necessary.

Every baby reacts differently when it comes to introducing bottles, so leave yourself time to discover which type of bottle your baby prefers, and from whom he will accept the bottle. Some babies will let mom offer the bottle, whereas others permit anyone else but mom. Most babies have no trouble with bottles.

What if your baby refuses the bottle? If this happens, remember that bottles aren’t the only way a baby can get nutrition. Babies can feed via cup, spoon, syringe or medicine dropper.