Pump, pump, pump it up
your maternity leave has ended, just as you got the hang of things its time to leave your sweet little one and go back to work.This has left you with a host of new questions and concerns. breathe mama we are here to help.
It’s not easy but it’s worth it. After 2 years of pumping at work here is a little wisdom I gathered along the way.
First off know your rights and don’t be afraid to use them . In most cases, you are allowed a reasonable break-time while at work to pump. This should be a private space that is not a restroom.
Get a schedule. You should be pumping every 3 to 4 hours at the same time your baby is getting a bottle. We all know this is in an ideal world so just try to develop a schedule and stick as closely to it as you can. If you are able to, nurse your baby before leaving so that way you have a few hours before needing to pump again. Each day I would plan out my pump breaks in my head around my to do list. For me this revolved around assessments and medications that were due. This ensured I would not be disturbed during my break as much as possible.
Put the pump pieces in the fridge between pumps. For me this was a game changer. I used Sarah Wells Pumparoo bag for my parts and washed them at the end of the day when home. The cool temps of the fridge help keep bacteria at bay and it saves sooo much time. Plus the bag is pretty and all your co workers are none the wiser as to what it contains. I used the small zippered pocket on the front for extra breastmilk bags.
Get a hands free bra! Seriously you need one. Aside from my pump bag this was another must for my pumping days. I thought I could do without it but after that first bottle of liquid gold dropped to the ground my frugal ways were no more. Amazon prime ( every new moms saving grace) and 2 days later a hands free bra was at my doorstep.
Do something, anything other than look at how much milk you are getting while pumping! Being a nurse working on a busy floor I did all my charting while pumping. Any nurse can tell you what a dreaded task this is but I began to come to love it while pumping. It was such a time saver and honestly a nice quiet environment ( other than the hum of my trusty pump) was very helpful in charting efficiently. If you can save responding to emails or something similar for your pump breaks that will make your work day that much more smooth and you wont be stressing over how much milk is in those bottles.
Keep extra pump parts at work. Inevitably on this journey you will be running late and leave the house with your flanges drying nicely on the counter so save yourself the worry and leave a spare at work. Mom brain is real so any way you can be one step ahead is key.
Most of all give yourself some grace you are doing an AWESOME job mama!
I would love to hear your pumping tips and tricks. I was so glad to retire my pump after 2 years of trusty service but I am so thankful I have been able to nurse my little dude that long and beyond. Pumping is a labor of love please reach out if you are having trouble. It takes a village and we are part of your’s!