You recently had a baby and now it is time to return to work. You’ve been breastfeeding the baby up until this point and your plan is to pump while at work. Sounds simple enough right? Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but being a breastfeeding/pumping working mom can have its challenges. Is it doable, absolutely! Keep reading to find out some tips that will help you master being a breastfeeding working mom.
While home with baby, it’s easy to feed on demand or maintain an every two-three hour feeding schedule. Upon returning to work you quickly realize that with your workload, meeting schedule, etc. pumping every two hours can be difficult. One tip to help make things a bit easier on yourself is to schedule the time on your work calendar as if it were a meeting. By adding your pumping schedule to your calendar you accomplish two things:
- Keeping yourself on track with your pumping schedule
- Blocking time on your calendar so that other meetings are scheduled around your pumping time when possible
Most email and calendar software, Outlook for sure, have the option to make your meetings or appointments private. When marking them private others only see that you are busy during that time and not the details of why your busy; perfect for pumping sessions.!
In case no one has told you yet, let me be the first. Breastfeeding and pumping has a significant impact on your wardrobe. I know this kind of sucks, but it doesn’t have to. The below items will be your besties and will make your time pumping in the office more convenient and help you to be comfortable.
- Button Down Shirts: The pumping mom’s holy grail. Wearing shirts that button down the front makes pumping super easy and doesn’t leave you feeling like you’re completely undressing in the office…awkward.
- Wrap Dresses (or Shirts): If you’re anything like me, I love me a cute dress. I was heartbroken when I begin to realize that dresses were not conducive to my pumping situation. I hated the idea of having to lift my entire dress to pump. Then one day it hit m; wrap dresses. Yes!!! Wrap dresses lets me keep loving my dresses and adds ease to pumping.
Any breastfeeding mom knows the importance of drinking your water. But did you know that there’s tea that you should be drinking to help keep your milk supply up? Mother’s Milk Tea coupled with plenty of water intake will help combat reductions in milk supply now that you are away from baby for several hours a day. Mother’s Milk can be purchased at your local grocery stores and online here. I will warn you it’s not the best smelling or tasting but the pros significantly outweigh the cons.
Pictures of Your Baby
Along with your breastfeeding beverages to help your milk supply, be sure you keep photos or videos of your baby on hand to help encourage let downs (the release of breast milk) during your pumping sessions. Seeing and hearing your baby causes your body to release Oxytocin which is a hormone that causes feelings of happiness that will ultimately lead to a let down. During my pumping sessions at work, I watch videos of my baby on my phone and it works like a charm.
Being a breastfeeding and working mom myself, I know first-hand how uncomfortable it can be to pump at work. Despite the awkwardness, it really is super important that you relax during your pumping sessions. Being relaxed is key to milk flow. Use your pumping sessions as a time away from co-workers and the hustle and bustle of the day. Take this time to just be alone with your thoughts. This is a great time for journaling, prayer, or meditation. Think of it as your personal, ‘me time’.
If you’re worried about your supply or just need someone to encourage you to keep fighting the good fight of breastfeeding, reach out to my lactation specialist if you’re in the Atlanta area Jameelah vial email or phone (770) 672 -5933.
Breastfeeding is an amazing thing, yet it can be challenging. I hope the tips I’ve shared here help you feel confident about returning to work and lead you down the path of mastering being a breastfeeding and working mom!