Pumping at work— might become a nightmare if you are new at it.
The schedule becomes messed up, running back and forth from the pumping room and dealing with leaky breasts.
It’s an old story for working moms!
I feel you and know how tough it becomes. But it should get easier if you plan ahead and follow tips from experienced moms.
During the first week, I was restless as hell. I couldn’t maintain time and had to make up for that with Formula feeds.
Then I said- “that’s enough. I need to organize everything.”
Follow these 8 tips and your work life and lactating life will fall into place!
1. In a rush? You have the full right to pump at work
When I was pumping at work, I felt blessed to live in the U.S.
Why? Because the Affordable Care Act or more commonly ObamaCare Act gives you full right to pump milk anywhere you work. And, you can also expect your employer to offer you a dedicated space for pumping!!
You don’t need to announce it every time you leave the room. That feels awkward and simply kills time!
2. Get the right breast pump first
You need to get your hands on a dedicated breast pump for work. Not all pumps will suit you!
The first thing— it needs to be portable. Look for lightweight and rechargeable pumps. Go for hands-free pumps for more freedom and flexibility.
Among other things, noise should be the top priority. You won’t find a zero noise pump, but you sure will find ones that make the lowest sound.
3. Select Your Pumping Spot
It’s always good to talk with your office authorities and check whether they have a room for pumping. If they don’t have it, you will need to make one!
Find a quiet and alone room (definitely not the bathroom) and make sure others know that you are using it pumping. The door must at least have a lock to keep out distractions.
4. Plan for Milk Storage Ahead
Most workplaces have a refrigerator that employees can access. Use it!
But… don’t just put your milk bottles out there. Keep it inside a small microfiber bag and then refrigerate it. You will have less chance of someone drinking your milk! Yikes.
If that’s not possible, buy a quality insulated bag or cooler. Your life will get easier.
5. Keep a Spare Pump at Work
If you have the budget, you should definitely invest in a spare pump that you will be using when returning to work.
Trust me, I couldn’t believe how easy it gets when you have an extra. There’s no hassle for carrying it everyday.
If your pump has a closed system, then you might require very little cleaning work. Just take the bottles and/or tubes at home.
6. Make a Schedule and Pump as Much as Possible at Work
I know, I know it’s not easy to pump multiple times when working. But you gotta do it.
The best thing is to leave your home a bit early and pump in the morning. Then pump after every 3-4 hours. Make a fixed schedule and stick to it.
Let your authority know about your schedule, so you won’t have to stress about the meetings and conferences.
7. Find Pumping Partners for Motivation
If you are a part of a large organization, there’s a good chance someone else is also pumping. They are facing the same troubles as you are.
Get connected and stay close. If you manage to find 2-3 women like you, you can form a group and maintain the same schedule. This will help you stay motivated and feel that you are not alone.
8. Find Ways to Keep Yourself Relaxed
Stress can really hamper your pumping sessions. You want the most milk at each session. If your work life is rough, give yourself some time and try to focus on something else at that moment.
Browsing through the internet or the Facebook newsfeed worked for me. I was able to distract myself and produce enough milk. See what works for you.
The initial days will be awkward and you will feel alone. But keep pumping along your schedule and you will get used to it.
Breast pumping is a very common thing today. Nobody will judge you for doing it. Your baby needs it and you are just another mom striving for the better health of your baby. So, you are not alone.
Hope these tips can help you to make your life easier at work.