Pumping at Work: 7 Things I Wish I Knew
Speak with your Employer
Before you head back to work it is important that you speak with your employer regarding your plans to pump. Before this conversation, it is important to know your rights as a breastfeeding mother. Make sure that you discuss pumping location. You have the right to a comfortable, private, and clean pumping location. Luckily I have a private office. I was able to place a piece of cardboard in the window and put a chair in front of the door so I could work while I was pumping. Whatever works for you! You will also want to discuss pumping breaks. I would suggest shooting for more pumping time that you will actually need just in case. Hopefully, your employer will happily work with you and provide you adequate time. If not, it is important to know the law and your rights.
Schedule Your Pumping Sessions
Organize Your Pumping Parts
Create a Pumping Emergency Kit
If finances allow, try to have duplicates of everything and make this your pumping emergency kit. Keep this at your desk or in your car. Trust me, there will be days that you forget something. It is so frustrating and stressful when this happens. The last thing you want to do is pack everything back up and run to Target in the middle of your workday (if you even have the opportunity to). This will save you time, money, and a lot of stress in the long-run.
Invest in a Mini-Fridge
This is a luxury and totally not necessary (assuming you have a refrigerator somewhere in your workplace), however, a mini-fridge in your office/under your desk would be amazing (check out the link below for an affordable portable mini-fridge that you can stash in your car or cubicle!). I hated having to lug the goods down to my bosses fridge after each pumping session. I didn’t want to weird her out so I put everything in a little cooler bag so she couldn’t see the contents. This was a pain because I had to wash everything after each session. It would have been awesome if I could have just stashed everything in my own little fridge. Seconds matter as a working mom. Just saying.
Consult with Lactation Consultant
Whatever you do, please do not stress. In fact, stressing could be the absolute worst thing you can do and counter-productive. When I was pumping for my oldest, I was a mess. I was constantly stressing about producing enough to meet the demands of my little guy. My whole workday was consumed by ensuring that I was pumping enough, stressing when I didn’t produce enough, and worrying when I could get home to nurse. That is literally all I thought about all day. That anxiety spilled over to my son’s caretakers. Those that cared for him were so nervous about his feeding schedule and apologized when they had to give him an extra feeding. I made them that nervous. It was a stressful period in my life. When I went back to work with my daughter, I vowed to relax. It was a much better experience for everyone I didn’t worry so much about pumping on a rigid schedule, I didn’t feel guilty when I didn’t produce as much during a pumping session, and I told everyone to use as much milk as they needed out of the freezer stash. You know what? I produced way more milk with my daughter. The long story short is to be kind to yourself and do what is best for you. If you need to supplement with formula, that is perfectly okay. That doesn’t make you any less of a mother, you are an amazing mother regardless!
If you liked this, check out
- Going Back to Work after Baby
- How to Balance Work & Kids (Without Going Insane)
- Working from Home with Your Kids
What pumping tips do you have for other working-moms? Planning to pump, what are you most worried about? Leave a comment below.
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