Hello mamas! I am writing this post about pumping from the pumping room at work, AKA my office. HA! I feel like all my breaks are spent in here so I always joke that it’s my office. But it’s nice and private, and I get to make milk for my baby, so I can’t really complain.
Pumping and returning to work are kind of funny in that it’s like you just start to get the hang of breastfeeding and maybe pumping here and there and then you now have to go and figure out something totally new again. The pump takes the milk differently than baby does, and for me sometimes it was way more, and sometimes it was way less. Not to mention that the pump is not nearly as cute or warm and snuggly.
Here’s my experience and tips for mamas’ pumping or going back to work!
1// Drop the guilt. If working is something you just love and want to do, then you’re taking care of you which means taking care of baby. If you have to work to buy groceries and pay bills, then you are taking care of baby. No guilt allowed.
Additionally, no guilt over pumping. I struggled with this initially both times. There would be times where I would need to take a break sooner than I would otherwise, and I would either feel so guilty that I was taking a break or so guilty that I wasn’t taking one and could be compromising my baby’s food. You aren’t going to be pumping forever. In my case it’s a year. Mama’s should be able to take their two breaks to pump without the guilt!
2// Relaxation and distraction. It can sometimes be hard to get your milk to let down while pumping. It is so important to just relax and distracting yourself if a great way to do this. Read a book, check social media, watch a show, online shopping whatever it is. Just try not to focus on pumping.
3// A good space. Your employer is not required to provide a place to pump, but it doesn’t have to be pretty. If you can, try to personalize it or add some decorative touches. I added a throw pillow, some inspirational quotes, and a few other decorations to the pumping room here at work, and it makes it just that much more enjoyable to spend time in here.
4// Cleaning. The only sink option I have at work is the small bathroom sink with a faucet that you’re hands have to be under to turn it on. Not exactly ideal for washing pump parts. What I have been doing this time is putting my parts in a bag and sticking them in the fridge. Then I just wash the parts at home. There are wipes and a spray you can get to use, but this is way easier. When you do wash them I would recommend a bottle brush to get all the way into the bottles and little parts.
Also on this note – get a second set of pump parts. This takes the pressure off washing them as soon as you get home. My insurance covered one pump per calendar year for me, so I ordered one before they were born, and then I ordered a second one after the first of the year. This allows me to leave a pump at work, so I only have to bring the parts back and forth!
5//Pumping Bra. I can’t believe I almost forgot to include this! Having a pumping bra allows you to be hands free while you pump so that you can work on whatever else you need to work while you are attached to the pump! I am always so bummed if I forget to bring this!
Just remember mama that you can do this! There is nothing greater than the power of a mama, and you are the best mama for your baby!
Be sure to check out the other posts in the series as well as a couple of older posts I have done on breastfeeding!