You’re committed to breastfeeding, no matter what. But life and job demands are committed to distracting you, no matter what. Fortunately, experts and experienced moms are full of pumping tips for moms on the go in today’s busy world.
It may seem strange to plan for pumping when you’re still writing your birth plan. When you include your preference to breastfeed immediately on your final birth plan, your birth team and helpful postpartum nurses can guide you to getting the most from pumping.
They may even send you home with a pump or you may be able to rent one from the hospital.
Pick the pump that’s right for your situation
That may sound like a no-brainer, but consider whether you’ll have access to an electrical outlet at work. If you decide on an electrical pump but your boss sticks you in the brand new (read: improvised) breastfeeding closet, it may not have an outlet.
Electrical pumps leave you hands free and are often more efficient
Some come with adaptors that fit in the lighter of your car. Consumer Reports claims electrical pumps do a better job. They’re heavier and more expensive, so consider your budget if your insurance doesn’t cover pumps.
Stock up on essentials:
- breast pump wipes clean your pump quickly and easily so you only need to rinse it
- extra flanges, wipes, and bags
- bottle sterilizer for home
Cooler for storing milk
Remember the ice packs! Flexible cooler bags can collapse into a larger roller bag.
Roller bag for all you need
All those breastfeeding essentials + heavy pump + stuff for work + miscellanea could mean you’re lugging a lot to your job. Why not put it all into a roller bag that saves your back and is a lot less clumsy? Managing one bag instead of pumping bag, briefcase, and work supplies helps reduce stress.
Hands–free nursing bra
Lets you do many things while your mighty mama milk flows. There are many on the market. But here’s a simple DIY version.
Have photos or videos of your baby
Looking at them while you pump helps stimulate your milk let-down.
Negotiate with your employer
If you’re the first at work to need to pump, you are paving the way for the women who follow. Click To Tweet
You may have to consult with your boss in advance about the space and time for pumping. Also consider:
- Return to work mid–week so you only have a couple of days to manage before you get a weekend to recuperate.
- Can you work from home? At least some days?
Use your online calendar or app to schedule
Because it’s really easy to miss a pumping session during a jam-packed day.
Get mommy-flattering clothes
Make sure they accommodate nursing and your nursing breasts. If those clothes are made of wrinkle-free fabric, even better. If they all coordinate, a few pieces go a long way.
Prepare the night before
Having everything ready at night means you and baby have a little more time in the morning to ease out the door.
Nurse baby before you shower
Then you’ll have a little more time to get ready. Even an extra 5 or 10 minutes can help with stress, so try getting up a tiny bit earlier.
Try to squeeze in one more feeding at the sitter’s
Yes, it means probably leaving home earlier, but it will start you and baby off on the right foot (which helps you worry less during the day).
There are always ups and downs
Every day may present some new challenges. So try to laugh at the stumbles, inconveniences, mess, the many supplies, and curious co-workers.
Find a support person/group
Online or in person, women who’ve succeeded at breastfeeding while working will be lifesavers on those OMG days.
Take care of yourself
Eat and drink enough (breastfeeding demands a lot of calories), and go to bed as early as possible.
Let your partner help
Let them clean up after dinner, put other kids to bed, pack your bag, get baby ready to go in the morning.
Just like your birth plan, your breastfeeding plans will work some of the time. And when they don’t, you wing it.
Managing the breastfeeding-working mom challenge is an accomplishment. You’ve got this!
To learn more about breastfeeding tips, download our free Birth Plan eBook now. After three years of research, collaboration with more than 100 childbirth experts and resource centers from Healthy Child Healthy World to the American Association of Neonatal Nurses, the Best Ever Baby Birth Plan Guide is available for a free download.
This new resource for pregnant families is a compilation of top tips and advice from more than 20 nationally-recognized experts in the field including renowned pediatrician, Dr. Alan Greene and GraceFull Birthing founder, midwife Elizabeth Bachner. These trusted experts offer thoughtful guidance for whatever type of birthing experience parents want, in whichever setting they choose.
Published: March 14, 2017 |By SP Turgon, Certified Labor Doula | Reviewed by: The Best Ever Baby Expert Team | Last reviewed: March, 2017