Part Two of our three-part series to assist with your return to work as a pumping mom…
In the first part of this series, we covered what you’ll need to do before your maternity leave ends to successfully pump breast milk while at work. In this second part of our three-part series, we will look at some of the ways you can ease your transition that first week when you return to work.
You’re likely to feel overwhelmed your first week or two back. That’s totally normal! Even though you may be a fierce and dedicated mama, it doesn’t mean you’re superhuman.
You may feel tired, emotional, guilty, and conquered -- sometimes all at once. But here are five tips to keep you on track, even when you feel like the parenthood express is totally derailing.
1. Make Your Pumping Schedule a Priority
Before your first day back, you should have written up a pumping schedule -- the times during the day in which you’ll be pumping. Once you have that schedule in place, try not to deviate from it.
If you begin pumping less than what your schedule shows you should be, you run the risk of not producing enough milk. As your baby grows bigger and requires more milk, you don’t want your supply to diminish. Also, pumping frequently will help you keep clogged milk ducts at bay -- that can be painful so you want to make sure to avoid it.
2. Pencil In Snuggles With Your Baby
Both you and your baby are going to be missing your breastfeeding sessions during the day. You might decide it will be easier to feed your baby breast milk out of bottles all the time instead of switching back and forth between the breast and the bottle.
If that’s the case, make sure you still do some of the feedings and that you have plenty of snuggle time with your baby. That contact will make you both feel so much better about the transition you’re undergoing.
3. Wear the Correct Attire
Even if you are lucky enough to have your own office, or have been designated a private room to pump in, you might not want to go full commando and whip both of the girls out. We all know that person who enters a room without knocking, and this could turn your relationship with that co-worker very awkward, very fast.
4. Don’t Let That Breast Milk Spoil
Make sure you have a way to transport the breast milk you’ve pumped from the office to your house. The last thing you want is to have that milk go bad while you’re transporting it on a hot day.
Your best bet is to invest in a cooler and some ice packs so you can be certain you aren’t feeding your baby spoiled milk. You can keep the breast milk in the cooler pack in your workplace refrigerator and the ice packs in the freezer until you’re ready to use them for the trip home.
5. Find the Right Pump
You’re going to be spending a lot of time with the breast pump you choose so you need to make sure it’s a good one. It should express your milk quickly, and you’ll also want it to do the job quietly since you’ll be in a workplace setting and you might be uncomfortable with something that sounds too loud.
Any pump you choose should be a double electric pump. That way you can drain both of your girls at the same time. That will be an enormous time saver.
6. Keep Your Chin Up
Remember, you can do this! You aren’t the only pumping employee out there. Even though it can be hard at times, remind yourself why breastfeeding is a healthy choice for your baby. That will help you keep at it when you feel like throwing in the towel.
About the Author
Jenny Silverstone is the mother of two, a breastfeeding advocate, and a professional writer and editor for the popular parenting blog, Mom Loves Best. In her spare time, Jenny enjoys exploring the great outdoors with her family, hiking, camping and getting back in touch with nature.