Returning to work after having a baby can be a time of mixed emotions. Adult interaction and getting back to a job you love should be invigorating for you. But leaving your precious baby in someone else’s care may be a big adjustment for everyone. And adding your desire to continue breastfeeding and pumping at work to the mix, it’s complicated to say the least.
But complicated, challenging, and emotional are no match for a determined new mom like you who wants to give her baby the very best nutrition on the planet. Breast milk is the perfect mix of nutrients for your little one. Even if your maternity leave ends before the recommended six months of exclusive breastfeeding (and continued one year or more of breastfeeding after that), you’re going to find a way to make it work.
Working from home or having your baby nearby to breastfeed every three hours is ideal, but let’s face it, that’s a rare situation for most working moms. So, pumping at work is the best solution. While that seems daunting at first, we’re helping with five tips for pumping at work and one really amazing breast pump bra to help you do it!
5 Tips for Pumping at Work
Tip #1: Prepare
Before your first day back, talk to your employer about your intention to pump at work, where you can do it, and how much time it will take. The law is on your side and most companies are supportive of a mother’s desire to continue breastfeeding because it’s good for her health and that of her baby.
Also, purchase a strong electric pump and practice with it in advance. Go through an abbreviated version of your new daily routine so you can get the hang of pumping, cleaning and storing your milk in a timely manner. This allows your baby to practice being away from you and taking bottles during the day.
Tip #2: Schedule Pumping Sessions
Depending on your baby’s feeding schedule, you will likely need to pump every three to four hours at work. That may mean two or three pumping sessions per workday. Put them on your calendar so that time is protected against other business matters.
Tip #3: Dress for Success
Your nursing bras and nursing tank tops are essential when breastfeeding and a breast pump bra is just as crucial for pumping at work. Our new nursing and breast pump bra not only allows you to easily pump hands-free at work, it can also be worn as a regular nursing bra. And it has all the great features of our signature nursing bras such as naturally molded cups, ideal support, adjustable comfort straps, and a cute design. For pumping, the inner lining securely holds your breast pump flanges in place so you can use your hands for answering emails, eating a snack, or taking a moment to relax.
Tip #4: Develop a Routine
There are a lot of things to remember when pumping at work. Prepare your breast pump, bottles, caps, cooler and cleaning supplies the night before so you don’t forget anything at home. When you’re pumping, come up with an efficient way to clean your pump – which doesn’t always have to be the same way you do it at home, especially when you’re in a time crunch. And make sure your breast milk is properly labeled so no one accidentally steals it from the break room refrigerator.
Tip #5: Support, Support, Support
It’s not going to be a bump-less road. But with your love, dedication and determination, you can be successful. Lean on your partner, friends, and other breastfeeding moms at work for support. Just knowing that they are rooting for you and encouraging you can make a big difference. Also, be willing to adjust when necessary and don’t be afraid to ask your supervisors when they may be able to assist in making pumping at work a little easier.