Returning to work after giving birth to your baby can be nerve-wracking for working moms. And you’re probably more anxious since you’re also breastfeeding your tiny tot and have not learned to pump milk yet. Don’t we all wish we can bring our babies to our workplace and just lay them down in a bassinet beside us? Oh, how we wish!
It’s going to be a challenge fitting pumping sessions into your daily routine, but we know you can make this work, Mama! So, check out these tips to help you make pumping go smoothly at work.
First, You Need to Find a Breast Pump That Doesn’t Get in the Way
The type of breast pump you choose can make everything so much easier! We recommend getting a hands-free breast pump that produces twice as much as your wired pump’s output in just a matter of minutes. This handy wearable pump can change your life as you can work, eat lunch, and even catch up with your husband while pumping milk for your little one.
Second, It’s Important to Know Your Rights as a Working and Breastfeeding Mom
American working mamas should have a private place, aside from the bathroom, where they can express breast milk without intrusion. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that employers should provide these accommodations for breastfeeding moms. It’s okay to discuss these accommodations with your employer or HR representative if they have not set up one yet.
Third, If You Haven’t Pumped at All, It’s Best to Practice Now
Don’t wait until the last minute to learn how to pump. It may seem easy to do, but getting the hang of it is another thing. Plus, your tiny tot needs to adjust to feeding from the bottle as well. If you still have three to four weeks before the big back-to-work day, start changing one breastfeeding session to a pumping session. Gradually increase these sessions as the day looms nearer, so you get more practice, and your baby can get used to bottle feeding as well.
Fourth, It’s Okay to Store Breast Milk in Your Office Fridge
Putting breast milk in the refrigerator (about 39°F) will help it stay fresh for 5 days. This is the best option for storing breast milk at work. After all, it’s difficult lugging around a small cooler and you may even forget to bring it on some days. Aside from buying storage bags for breastmilk, you can also look for a milk storage organizer that includes a cover. It keeps stored breast milk isolated from other items in the refrigerator.
Fifth, Block Out Your Calendar
Stress can take a toll on breastfeeding moms and can affect milk supply, so you should be able to focus and be as stressed-free as possible during pumping sessions. The best way to ensure that you won’t be interrupted while you’re pumping milk is to schedule the sessions on your calendar. This is to let everyone at work know that you’re not available during those times. If you feel that your work environment is not conducive enough, take a few steps to relax, focus, and enjoy this “me time”. Play a soothing song, meditate, take deep breaths, look at photos of your baby, and even play a recording of baby sounds as experts say this can help with your let-down reflex.
We hope that these pumping tips can help you maintain that wonderful connection with your baby. Have fun on your first day back at work! We’d love to know about your experience with your wearable breast pump as well. Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.