Breast milk has many advantages that can do wonders for your baby’s health. While you were at home, managing to breast feed the baby was not as difficult. Sure, it took you a couple of tries but you had all the privacy and all the time to be able to nurse them.
However, now you are supposed to resume your job.
The thought of balancing work and continuing to breastfeed your baby can be intimidating for most mothers Pumping at work as a mom can seem challenging, but it does not have to be.
There’s a whole bunch of things that you can do to help manage this task at hand. Follow our simple steps and pretty soon you will get the hang of it.
Step 1: Pause Everything and Buy a Really, Really Good Pump:
The number one step for a breastfeeding mom who is about to go to work is to get herself an excellent hospital grade electric pump. Yes, we know they are expensive, but believe us when we say that an electric pump can help you get the job done so much faster than the manual one. Pump both breasts at the same time. As a breastfeeding working mother, you are short on time already so you need all the help you can to help you save as much time as you possibly can. If time is money, then this will be a great return on investment for you as mom pumping at work when time is of the essence.
Step 2: Buy the Right Tools:
An electric pump is not the only thing you will need to save time; you will also need tools to clean the pump, bottles etc. faster. A good idea here would be to invest some money in microwave sterilizer bags, breast pump wipes and other cleaning tools. This way, you can pump the milk, store it in bottles and clean everything too without having to spend an hour near the sink. Oh and don't forget your water bottle. That's a tool too because you'll need to stay hydrated all day.
Step 3: Know Your Workplace:
Most organizations allow their employees to breast pump at work, but still it is always better to visit your boss and ask them about any particular policies they might be having regarding breastfeeding moms at work.
A really helpful tip here would be to look for other breastfeeding moms at your workplace and get their two cents on the issue. If your workplace does not have a proper place where you can pump, you might even be able to put up a stronger case for having one.
Note to self, employers should provide a place for moms to pump, and we don't mean the bathroom. Get to know your rights as a breastfeeding mom in the workplace if you need questions answered.
Your workplace needs a refrigerator so you can store your milk in a secure lunch bag or bring a good, we mean very good, cooler such as a YETI cooler, with some ice packs so you can keep your milk at the proper storing temp till you get home.
Step 4: Set Yourself a Routine:
Once you have all the tools, it is important to figure out a routine which allows you to keep the milk stash full and not stress yourself out too much. This routine is just as important as all the other things you have scheduled throughout your day.
A standard example of this could be that you pump the milk in the morning before heading out to work and keep a set bag with all the pumping tools necessary ready to go. Grab that bag on your way out, pump some more milk when you are at work.
When you get back home, freeze that milk and wash all the pumping tools and set your bag for the next morning.
Step 5: Schedule it All In:
Work can be very demanding and with all that usually goes on at work, it is very likely that a pending pumping session might just slip out of your mind completely. It is best to have install an app or even put some markings on your calendar to remind you that you have a pumping session coming up so you can prepare for it beforehand.
An extremely helpful tip here would be to just simply put an alarm on your smart phone or iphone which will act as a reminder that you need to pump milk for your baby at home.
Step 6: Get the Right Nursing Clothes:
You need to be dressed right to be able to pump the milk anywhere, anytime. For starters, invest in some nursing bras and nursing tank tops that come with proper straps that let you do all the adjusting that you have to do while nursing the baby, or even while you are pumping the milk to feed the baby later.
While you were at home, you could wear anything you wanted but now that you are at work, you need to look professional too. Just because you are a breastfeeding mom at work, doesn’t mean you have to compromise on your style.
For example, if you want to wear a dress to work, you absolutely can! You just need to pick something which is made from a stretchy material (like cotton knit!) that can be easily used for nursing like the Bun Maternity Cross Top Maxi Dress which looks great layered over with a blazer, chunky necklace, and stylish ballet flats. A lil' accessorizing can take your nursing wear to a whole new level of casual work chic.
Nursing tank tops like these are a breastfeeding mom’s best friend because both straps come down, the chest stays covered, you can keep your blazer on, and you can pump away anywhere with ease. Not only do they allow you the easiest (as well as the best) access to your breasts, but they also help you look super professional as a layering piece under any cardigan or jacket. This is a must for any nursing mom's capsule wardrobe and if you're pumping at work you'll need to get to both breasts at the same time and quickly.
Step 7: Practice and Patience:
Just like it took you some time to get the hang of breastfeeding, similarly it will take some time and practice before you get used to managing breastfeeding and your work schedule as well. It will take some time before you are able to manage pumping breast milk and still show up for your meetings in time. It is easy to feel exasperated and for the moments when you do, just remind yourself why you are doing it.
Many moms suggest watching videos and pictures of your babies, or having baby's onesie on hand while you are pumping milk, it helps staying motivated when you see the reason why you have put your clients on hold. It also helps the milk flow become stimulated when seeing or smelling your baby's items. Ahh new baby smell is so wonderful!
These are the 7 simple steps you can follow to help manage both, breastfeeding your baby and work. A concluding tip that we would like to give to our readers is that tell your caregiver to avoid feeding the baby during the last hour of the workday IF it is okay and baby isn't fussing yet. This way, when you get back, your baby will be looking forward to you and you two can have a warm union after a long day's work. Continue to breastfeed whenever you can to keep your milk supply going.
Keep going mama! You're doing amazing! Being mom and working is a rewarding position to be in! Challenges only make you stronger and value what you have even more. You can do this. You will do this.
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