Tips for Breastfeeding when you're Back-to-Work
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Your maternity leave is quickly coming to end and you know you want to continue breastfeeding your baby. With juggling so many responsibilities at the same time it's hard not to question how the heck you can even think of pulling it off.
Just relax, breathe, and be assured that with some ahead of time planning you got this Mama'. I've been back at work for over a month now so here are my tips that have helped me continue my breastfeeding journey.
Buy a really good pump
I know how tempting it may be to just get a single, manual pump because it's so inexpensive but if you're serious about continuing to breastfeed while working than you're going to have to invest a little more and get a double, electric pump. Not only will it keep you from getting carpal tunnel syndrome from all the extra work on your hands and wrist but you will also get the work done in half the time.
Know your Rights
Most people who know I pump at work have commented how lucky I am to have that option, and I agree but it's also your right as a mother.
Section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act gives employees the right to reasonable break time to express milk for baby’s first year—and a private place to do it. And for God's sake, no, the bathroom is not acceptable.
If your boss isn't aware of this right, defend your right.
At first I felt a little self-conscious about my male colleagues knowing I was pumping but they have actually been just as supportive as the females. We have even talked about it and I was pleasantly surprised at how beneficial they know breast-milk is for babies.
MoTHER's know best... Double up on Tea
No run around with this one, Mother's Milk Tea from Traditional Medicinal's is hands down the best lactation tea out there. Within a week of me incorporating two daily cups (I'm now at three), my milk supply increased by almost 2 oz. a session! All organic, based on fenugreek, blessed thistle, anise, fennel and corriander - these herbs have been used for centuries for a number of various remedies.
For non-licorice lovers, myself included, the scent is initially a turn off but once you have a taste you'll be looking forward to your daily tea sipping. And with a dose of inspirational quotes on their tea bags, it feeds some positivity into your mind as well.
Make a routine and be consistent with your pumping and nursing. You can't pump at work one day and then skip the next if you're serious about keeping up your supply. On work days, my pumping and nursing routine goes like this:
- 7 AM Pump (before work)
- 11 AM Pump (at work)
- 3:15 PM Pump (at work)
- 6:45 PM Nurse
- 8:15 PM Nurse
- 10:30 PM Pump
Make it as easy as possible
Being a working mom isn't easy, and you already that free moments are very rare so focus on making things as easy as possible on yourself.
At work, I keep my milk in the fridge inside my babies mini insulated lunch tote ready to be stored once I get home.
As soon as I'm done pumping for the day, I make sure my pumping kit is clean and all set up for the next morning. That way, once I jump out the shower I can just sit back and relax for a few minutes while I pump.
Expect the Unexpected
Mom life is made up of unexpected moments and I hate to break it to you but pumping at work isn't the exception. Pack the nursing pads and know that accidents might (and will most likely) happen.
Just last week, my boobies were telling me it was time but I wanted to finish what I was working on before my pumping session and decided to push it back a little. Before I knew it, through nursing pad and everything, I leaked! Note taken. Lesson learned. When it's time, it's time. And of course there will be times when you can't just drop everything and pump so make sure to always carry extra nursing pads.
Are there any tips you would add to this list? Don't keep it to yourself. Share below!
'Til next time, lovelies!