Going back to work is HARD. There is so much to navigate and so much advice out there you can feel like you don't know which way is up and which way is down! Thankfully, we've got you covered with info you need for successful pumping, and the back to work advice that will not only set you up for success, but give you a REAL plan to get through and do so successfully.
The good news is, with these tips and hacks from REAL breastfeeding moms, pumping at work is about to get a whole lot easier! Here are the top tips from our Successful Breastfeeding Veterans taken from our poll in the Successful Breastfeeding Community.
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When Things Get Rough.
"When you’re sad about leaving your child to go to work try to focus on the good. 'I’m getting out of the house. I’m making money for my family. I get to socialize with other adults. I’m a positive example for my children'." -Ann Marie M.
"Also watch videos of your little one while you pump to encourage let downs and to bring a smile to your face!" -Jalyn V.
"Schedule out time BEFORE you get to work and set alarms to remind yourself. " - Samantha M.
"Make sure you know ahead of time where you will be pumping and where you can store your milk. See what accommodations your employer has available to you." - Cristina E.
"If you don't have fridge access, this [Medela Cooler Bag] keeps your milk super cold all day. The freezer packs allows for 4 bottles so up to 24 ounces. I'm part time so I just use two bottles and keep my pump parts cold (rinsed, in a ziplock bag) on the other side. It keeps them all really cold." -Tifani S.
"Get to work early and pump. Always start your shift emptied." -Stefanie A.
Time Saver Hacks Can Save Your Sanity!
"I keep my used parts in a wet bag that I keep in the fridge after use. I wipe them clean after pumping and then in the fridge they go. Some people clean their parts after each use but I just don’t have time for that." - Christina E.
"Consider renting a hospital-grade pump to keep at work... I found it helped me produce more and was super quiet (so I could pump during conference calls)." -Courtney V.
"If you can swing it, get a second pump. No need to lug it back and forth! Or use a manual pump at home and bring your electric to the office." Melissa M.
"Freemie Cups! Work with multiple pumps - also get an extra pump to leave at the office along with back up supplies if you can!" - Erica B.
"After pumping, poor the milk directly into the bottles your baby needs for tomorrow. This makes it so much easier to put them in the fridge when you get home." - Shelby P.
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Little Things That Can Make a Big Difference.
"I pack snack bars in my pump bag. Sucks to be starving when pumping on those days when lunch gets away from you. I also downloaded Amazon Prime Video app to have stuff to watch. If work is stressful and I can't clear my head, there's always something to watch to take my mind off of it. I keep some earphones in my bag too for that reason."
- Tifani S.
"Wash your pumping bra in baby's detergent so you can smell them when you pump and make yourself happy ." - Samantha M.
"Extra parts! I kept stuff at work and stuff at home so I could carry less back and forth and have a lower chance of forgetting something important." - Lisa N.
"I had a heater in the room I pumped to stay warm in the winter, and brought my phone in to look at pictures of my little dude while pumping or to just doodle around on for my pumping time." -Ashley S.
"I used a little kids suitcase on wheels for my breast pump and supplies." -Shelby P.
Of course one our best pieces of advice is to PREPARE with our Back to Work Workshop. 80% of moms give up breastfeeding within weeks of going back to work, but that doesn't have to be you. You can do this, because you deserve to meet your breastfeeding goals.
I'm Kelly! As far as credentials go I am a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC), Certified Lactation Educator (CLE), HUG trained, breastfeeding counselor, a mother of 4 beautiful kids, and advocate for families. My personal experience with breastfeeding fueled my passion, and generated my mission. I founded Successful Breastfeeding because I saw a need for a better, more thorough, and individualized support for breastfeeding moms- especially working breastfeeding moms! I provide an approach to breastfeeding support that you won't find anywhere else! Breastfeeding is not one size fits all, and breastfeeding support should not be either!
Kelly Maher, CLC, CLE
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