As a working momma, one of the biggest stressors is feeding our baby while we are at work. Going back to work is a source of mixed emotions for sure. Leaving our little ones is one of the hardest things you will do momma. So let's make pumping at work a bit easier. Let's walk through how much to pump, where to do it, and how to store it.
- How much should I pump?
I often frequently hear this as how much of a stash should I have before I head back to work. First off, don't stress about pumping right away after birth (unless instructed to do so by a lactation consultant). At the bare minimum, you will need one day's feeding before headed back to work. You don't need a huge amount of breastmilk stashed away to feed your baby. Think about the number of times that you breastfeed during the day. That's the number of feedings you will need when you are back to work. So as you are feeding your baby in week 3 of your maternity leave, think about when you can add a pump session in your daily routine. If you head back at week 6, then you will have 21 feedings worth of breast milk.
- Make accessing your breasts easier
Think about the clothing you are wearing. Will you need to disrobe completely? Do you have a pumping bra? If you have to eat lunch and pump, you may want to invest in a few pumping bras or the Bravado Clip and Pump. Clothing can make life easier as well. Is it nursing friendly clothing? Can you easily access your breast? Things like button-ups and cardigans are excellent. You may wish to also invest in some nursing friendly tops.
- Have everything ready to go
Pack everything the night before. In the rush of getting everyone out the door in the morning, something is bound to be forgotten. I highly recommend adding a new habit where you pack your pump bag the night before. This allows you to make sure you have everything in there and you can grab and go in the morning. The more you can pack the night before the better! Pack your lunch so you are eating well. Pack your little one's bag with the things they need for daycare. Now in the morning, you are just picking up the bags and heading out.
You got this momma! I know it's a huge transition to head back to work after your baby is born. While it doesn't get easier to say goodbye to them in the morning, it can be a bit less hectic to pump for them.
Not sure about this transition? Stop by on Mondays at 10:30 am for Breastfeeding Cafe with Jeannine Kitzerow, RN, BSN. Jeannine is happy to chat about breastfeeding, heading back to work, and feeding babies in general.