If you saw my last post on the emotional challenges to work, I hope you found it helpful! This post is a more practical information on pumping at work, or if you are like me and on the go, pumping in public!
I was very fortunate to meet with a lactation consultation when our daughter was five days old. From that initial consultation, we formed a very lovely relationship and gave me advice about breastfeeding, pumping, and returning to work in our weekly Mommy & Me groups. I have to share the advice she gave me, but if you have specific questions or concerns please talk to a healthcare professional or certified lactation consultant.
Comfort is queen. Just like breastfeeding, the more you do it, the more comfortable you feel. Be familiar with the lactation room at your office is important. Speak with the Human Resources department and schedule a tour before you return to work.
Wear comfortable clothes that make it easy to pump at work. The Bravado Nursing Bras are my favorite! Button down shirts or nursing tops make are helpful, too.
Learn the features of your pump. Download the manual onto your phone, practice using it and cleaning it.
Making pumping a priority. Everyone I have talked to says that they add pumping to their calendar and block that time out as busy. It makes it easier to avoid scheduling conflicts and having a routine pumping time allows your body to prepare for pumping sessions.
Be prepared to pump. Unfortunately there are a lot of supplies that are involved with pumping: pump, bottles, milk storage bags, insulated freezer bags. Buy in bulk and have them ready to go so you have them when you need them.
Keep up your supply. “Nursing vacations” were suggested where you hang around the house and nurse your little one more frequently. Drinking Mother’s Milk tea also helps maintain supply.
Picture your little one. While pumping at work you can look at pictures of your little one. I suggest creating a separate album on your phone with your favorite photos. You can also bring your little one’s lovey or little blanket so you can smell their adorable baby scent while you pump. I like listening to playlists with my headphones in that we play at home with my daughter!
Ain’t no shame in the pumping in public game! That’s my motto! I realized that women who have had children completely understand what you are doing and don’t care. Women who have not had children can’t really figure out what you are doing and once they do, it’s too late. You’ve already finished and buttoned up. I have also heard of mom’s getting hands-free battery operated pumps and pumping in the car!
Hail Mary. If your pump breaks, you’re stuck at an appointment, or something goes wrong, then just run to the bathroom and hand express what you can so your can get relief and also knows to keep creating milk.
Yes, there are stressful and hilarious parts of pumping and I recommend approaching it as an opportunity for you to step away from a busy day and recalibrate than it can be really beneficial and something you look forward to.
Good luck and may the pump be with you!