Maternity leave is up, and now it is time to go back to work – some moms may find this a welcome relief to be able to have some adult interaction, but for many moms, it’s the most dreaded thing in the world.
We get it. It’s not easy to be away from your baby and in the care of others, especially when you have had all that lovely time bonding!
It’s no surprise that you will be feeling apprehensive about finding a schedule that will help keep your breastmilk supply going even while at work. It’s important to be well equipped and well informed of all the things you can and cannot do.
Know Your Rights
The bathroom is NOT the place for you to express milk for your baby. If anyone in the workplace gives that as a solution to your breastfeeding needs, then a trip to HR is a must.
Every breastfeeding mother has a right to a safe space in the workplace to pump her milk to provide for the newborn she left in the care of others.
Statistically, around 25% of new moms return to work within two weeks of giving birth. So, now is the time to speak up for your requirements in the workplace and settle for nothing less than privacy to pump in peace.
Why You Should be Pumping at Work
Expressing your milk will keep your supply going so that you can feed your infant in the mornings and through the night if needed.
If you stop pumping during the day, your body starts to believe that the baby no longer needs as much breastmilk, and your supply will eventually stop. Let’s not get us started on the dreaded mastitis!
Invest in A Double Electric Breast Pump
For working moms, time is always of the essence, especially when limited to certain breaks in the day, to allow for expressing to replenish the frozen milk stash that they’ve built up before returning to work.
Hospital Grade Pump
Investing in a good double electric pump makes all the difference.
Having a pump will allow for a quicker let-down in a shorter amount of time. Wearing a brace to support the pumps will allow you to be able to multi-task, especially at lunchtimes and breaks when you need to be able to eat and drink to produce more breastmilk.
A hospital-grade pump is always better to invest in as many lactation consultants believe them to be most reliable and effective.
Depending on your budget, it might be good to think about having two sets of electric breast pumps.
One for the home and one for the office. This ensures that you won’t ever forget the pump because there will always be one at the office, in your locker, or in a desk drawer.
Sterilizing Your Breast Pump Accessories at Work
Investing in a zip lock microwaveable sterilizing bag will help ensure that your pump accessories remain clean and sterile even while at work.
Keeping Everything Organized
When you are at work, you are always on the clock even when you aren’t.
So when it comes to expressing your breastmilk, having all your items and accessories ready beforehand will cut your time significantly, and you can get the full benefits of pumping uninterrupted.
Bring Your Own Lunch and Drinks
Not only will you be saving a significant amount of money by bringing in your own lunch and drink, but you will also be saving a lot of time!
All set up with a brace and your pumps on both sides, you can eat handsfree and still be able to enjoy some me-time.
Storing Your Breastmilk at Work
Storing your breastmilk need not be an added stress. Having pumped at least 2 to 4 ounces on each side, you can always use bags with an adaptable top, which will allow the baby to drink directly from the bag if needed.
For extra piece of mind, you might like to use a high quality mini fridge to store your breast milk. If you pick one that can store cows milk for a few days, it will be able to store your breast milk for that bit longer than a cooler bag. Perfect if you can’t get straight back home after work.
Another option is a mini fridge in your office, dedicated for your breast milk.
RELATED CONTENT: Top Rated Mini Fridge for Breast Milk
Insulated Cooling Bag
Keeping your breastmilk stored in an insulated zip cooling bag with freezer blocks will ensure the milk is kept as fresh as possible for longer, provided that it’s kept in the fridge until it’s home time.
It’s important to remember to note the date and time of your breastmilk to stay organized and to keep to the schedule.
Pumping Schedule for Working Moms
Every workplace is different; however, below is a general guide for moms working an 8-hour shift in an office.
Breast Feed Your Baby Before You Go to Work
Depending on how long your baby feeds, it’s best to be dressed and ready beforehand so you aren’t frantically trying to get ready to rush out the door.
Pump in A 15-minute Break
If this is an issue at work, which it shouldn’t be, perhaps sacrificing the last 15 minutes of your hour’s lunch would help to ensure that you are consistent in pumping.
Pump in Your 45-minute Lunch Break
Using a breast pumping bra for your breast pumps will allow you to relax and read a magazine while you express away!
Pump Again in Your 15-minute Break
This is the last stretch to get those final ounces of liquid gold before home time.
Fresh Breast Milk for Your Baby
Your baby will be rooting for that closeness when feeding. Breastfeeding will ensure that your supply stays consistent and increases the bond.
Express When Your Baby has Fallen Asleep After Their Final Feed
This is the final pump of the night to help maximize your freezer stash. Don’t worry if you can’t do this; you’ve had a long day, and it is ok to start over again tomorrow.
Returning to work is a daunting experience. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself. If you follow the pumping schedule and remain consistent, it will become a part of your life without you even realizing it.
You got this!