Going back to work while breastfeeding is a challenge, but it’s not impossible. Pumping while at work allows you to stock up on milk for your baby while you’re apart. It also prevents your breasts from becoming engorged with milk while you are away from your baby all day. Here are some tips to make using a breast pump easier at work.
Pack It Up
You’ll need a breast pump that is easy to transport back and forth to work, unless you have one you exclusively leave at the office. Get a carrying bag if the pump doesn’t come with one so you can keep all of the parts together. You might also need a cooler to store the breast milk if you don’t have access to a work refrigerator or don’t feel comfortable leaving the breast milk in one.
Find a Spot
Finding a private and comfortable spot to pump breast milk at work is often one of the biggest challenges for moms. Talk with your supervisor about your need for a private, clean place to pump. If you’re lucky enough to have your own office with a door that locks, you can use that space for pumping your breast milk.
Create a Schedule
Get into a routine with pumping at work. Having a schedule gets you in the habit so you don’t forget. You also maximize the amount of milk you collect. It takes a while to pump. If you only have a short break, you may need to work out something with your supervisor to give yourself more time. This might mean getting to work a little early to make up for the extra break time.
You’ll be able to pump better if you can relax. That’s not always easy in the office. When you pump, try not to work on other things. Look at a picture of your baby to help with letdown. Music, breathing or visualizing something pleasant can also help you relax while pumping at work.
Always clean your breast pump and all of the parts immediately after using it. Cleaning is necessary to keep your pump sanitary so you don’t contaminate the milk you express. Find a clean place to store your breast pump at work.