For some moms, pumping at work can be downright challenging. Whether you struggle to find the time or maybe you’d just prefer not to pump at work. I have outlined some steps below to help take the stress of pumping at work off your mind so you can still provide the nutrition your baby needs while being productive at work.
How often should you pump?
It’s said to pump every time your baby takes a feeding from a bottle, so if your baby takes 3 bottle feedings per day, you need to pump at least 3 times per day. Trust me, you can work this around your work schedule but it does not come without the sacrifice of your free time or sleep (as if we have any of those anyway with a new baby, HA!). These tips will also not interfere with normal breastfeeding when with your baby.
- 12AM – Nurse
- 6AM to 7AM Before work – Nurse if baby is awake and pump. If baby is asleep, just pump.
- 12PM During lunch – Nurse if baby is awake and pump. If baby is asleep, just pump.
- 6PM to 8PM – Nurse
- 8PM – After baby goes to bed for the night, pump
So as you can see, I’m still nursing at least 4 times a day in addition to the pumping. Nursing as much as possible with baby while on this minimal pumping schedule allows me to keep my supply up.
Now, I am fortunate enough that I can pump in the privacy of my home during my lunch breaks. The key is being able to dedicate practically your entire lunch break to pumping. I am able to do this as I make ahead my lunch and take it with me. I eat at my desk while working so I have my lunch break free.
However, there was a time where I had to pump while at work. I purchased a USB double electric breast pump for this very instance, and have actually pumped in my car once before. I set up in the backseat, used a nursing cover, (by the way, get a FREE nursing cover from uddercovers.com using my code: HGMB35OFF) and got to work. Totally a personal choice though and if you absolutely need to pump at work, be sure to talk to your HR beforehand to set up a plan for these emergency or worst case scenarios.
Will I make enough milk?
When starting this schedule, there would be some instances where I would have to end up giving baby pumped milk during a night feed or formula because I had pumped to empty and did not have a chance to refill again before baby needed to eat. This is normal in the beginning as your body is adjusting to the demand. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t be discouraged. It usually takes me about 2-3 days of an established pumping routine to notice a significant difference in my supply. I recommend starting something like this on a weekend or extended time off (like a week or so before returning from maternity leave) to avoid this issue altogether.
Now mommies remember, you are protected under the law as a breastfeeding employee. Even if your employer has less than the required number of employees. Check out the Breastfeeding Workplace Law for further guidance and information.
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