New moms and moms to be express concern about breastfeeding and working. Is it truly feasible for working women? Yes it is!
The benefits of breastfeeding are many - for you and your baby! So moms may be concerned how to continue. Being proactive, finding balance and taking care, will help much of your concern flow away.
Here are Bun's 10 breastfeeding tips for working moms!
1. Third Trimester To-Do List
Breastfeeding is an essential part of any third trimester to-do list, but there is more to to this list.
To do's include getting information about CPR and childbirth classes. You'll learn about the stages of labor. You'll also learn about dealing with labor pain. There's also instruction on assembling baby gear, being proactive and making meals for yourself and your family for after your baby's birth. Doing laundry before baby arrives.
So starting preparation during the third trimester will make more time cleared up for breastfeeding your new baby.
2. Learn Breastfeeding Positions
After a long day at work, using comfortable and healthy positions for breastfeeding is important for mom and baby. This will create a proper latch and in turn, a very positive breastfeeding relationship with your little one.
Here are three common breastfeeding positions:
- The Cradle Position: rest your baby's head in the curve of your elbow, their belly against yours for support. Place your other hand on their head or back.
- The Football Position: lay your baby on your forearm, supporting their head and neck in your palm. This is great if you are healing from a cesarean.
- The Side-Lying Position: lay down on your side and get comfortable. Lift your breast and nipple to your baby's mouth. Support their head and neck with your free hand. This position is ideal for breastfeeding at night.
A nursing pillow may be helpful in adding comfort while you breastfeed since it can take longer especially as baby grows.
3. Breastfeeding Tips for Working Moms from Other Moms
It is invaluable to ask other moms for advice.
If they agree to be one of your few go-to moms, you can contact them at any time and get interactive help. They can give you ideas of where they pump and store breastmilk at work, or how they talked to their employer about accommodating them. Maybe someone in your workplace is also breastfeeding and you can ask her about how she schedules pumping at work.
Reach out and you may just make some new friends in the same position as you. It feels good to have someone to talk to and ask advice.
4. Choose a Breast Pump
Selecting a high-quality breast pump is essential on our breastfeeding tips for working moms.
Portable, hospital grade, quiet breast pumps with backup power supply are ideal for new moms who work. This will be comfortable for you but will also allow you to be discreet and quick at work.
Determine in advance how and where you will store the breastmilk while you are working. An insulated bag works great to store the breastmilk bags in the fridge. Or purchase a high quality insulated bag (like YETI) so you can store the bags near your desk. Make your best judgement what will work best for you in your workplace.
5. Create a Feeding Schedule
Once your baby is born and at home with you, work to create a feeding schedule.
When your baby grows accustomed to the schedule, you'll better determine whether their cries are for food, comfort, play, etc.
A feeding schedule is one of our best breastfeeding tips for working moms. Establishing a feeding schedule can translate to be your pumping schedule when you return to work. Set the reminders of when to go pump on your smart phone.
While baby is drinking breastmilk at home when you are working, when you return home from work he/she will be on schedule for the next feeding to be breastmilk straight from mama. Have baby's last bottle feeding to be a little earlier from when you arrive home so the next feeding is from you. Breastfeed whenever possible when you are out from work.
6. Speak with Your Employer
Speaking with your employer is essential to your breastfeeding/pumping at work success!
Employers can sometimes be, to put it plainly, spineless about providing a clean private space for you to pump at work.
Most states have laws which require they do this, and so your employer should comply.
If they do not, be civil but assertive with them. You can request your doctor write a letter to your employer listing the health benefits of breastfeeding if your employer continues to refuse. You have rights! Get to know those rights in your area, and get this handled with your employer before returning to work.
7. Prepare for the Next Workday
When you return to work, preparing for the next workday will relieve some of your stress and allow your mind to calm, one of our essential breastfeeding tips for working moms.
Doing this right means making sure all of your breast pump accouterments are empty, clean, and in the carrying purse or backpack the night before you return to work.
8. Maternity Nursing Clothes
Women's clothing leans more towards fashion than function (pocketless "pockets" anyone?) but nursing fashion is different.
Maternity nursing clothes that look chic enough to layer or wear alone as working attire, allow you to stay comfortable and breastfeed discreetly in public and pump in the workplace.
Moms to be and new moms should look out for transitional nursing tops and dresses that allow multi use for years to come.
Nursing bras provide extra comfort and support as your breast get larger. Nursing bras have cups that you can open and close for breastfeeding.
Nursing tops and dresses have hidden openings for breastfeeding, but look like normal clothes on the outside. A blazer over a nursing tank or a flowy tank top with side nursing access makes for great pumping at work attire. Bun Maternity offers these fashionable clothing choices which fit the purpose of maternity, nursing, and pumping!
9. Work from Home
Don't write this one off at first glance! With some negotiating and job depending, working from home can be a viable option. Many employers value you, and they don't want to loose you! So they may try to do what they can to help you during this time.
Some administrative, technology, and tutoring jobs can be done from home.
If you've determined that your job is a type you can do from home, speak with your employer about working from home for a long period of time or certain days of each week.
If you are being proactive, that is months before you give birth, getting a strictly at-home job can be beneficial for you and your baby.
10. Get Help from Your People
Whether it's subtle outside pressure or overconfidence, many new moms feel like they should do everything themselves.
Do not do this.
You'll drive yourself silly and you won't be the kind of mom you can and should be for your baby.
This is why it's not just OK, but required to ask for help!
Your spouse or partner should be first in line to help. Take classes and learn about being parents together. This will strengthen your bond and aid you both in being there for your new baby.
Next find other moms and friends who are willing to help. Think of who you may go to when in need of babysitting or doing some local errands for you. Surprisingly, you will find many people in your circle are enthusiastic to help you and be involved.
When you know you've gotten these things squared away, you'll be better able to pump at work, and attend to continuing to breastfeed your baby. Check out a further detailed overview of working and pumping here.
Thanks for reading our 10 breastfeeding tips for working moms! If you're interested in more pregnancy and new mom advice, check out our posts!