Successful Breastfeeding Blog
Evidence based advice, support, and education for modern families.
Are you going back to work soon? It might not be what you want to think about while holding your precious and perfectly adorable baby, but it’s probably a reality for you if you’re here. You've probably put a lot of time and effort into establishing your breastfeeding relationship, some of you more than others if you're really struggled. You might have JUST FINALLY found your stride so the idea of going back to work might be the last thing you want to worry about. I have some good and bad news for you. The bad being you do need to start thinking about it before you actually go back. The good news is that everything you need to plan for your SUCCESSFUL transition back to work has already been researched and put together for you.
You need to start preparing yourself ahead of time because the truth is, 80% of women give up breastfeeding within just weeks of going back to work. Those might sound like really scary odds, but it doesn’t have to be if you prepare yourself and come up with a plan for success.
Working with breastfeeding moms, I get asked all the time about new products and gadgets marketed to make their lives easier. I wholeheartedly believe you are all you need for your baby, but I don't mind trying out items to review and share my opinion.
Recently, I tried out TWO new products- the Beaugen Inserts and Lacteck BabyMotion Flanges. Both companies sent me these items to review and give my honest opinion. These products have two very different methods for similar problems pumping mothers experience. *I am not receiving any compensation or endorsement from either of these companies.
Going back to work after having a baby is filled with a ton of emotions, especially for all you breastfeeding teachers who are nervous about how and where you are going to pump at work!
I was actually a teacher for a year and a half. I taught a phlebotomy course at a local school and it was seriously the most exhausting job I’ve ever had. I no longer work there, but I learned to have the utmost respect for teachers because holy wow, y’all put in some serious work. It saddens me that you work SO HARD and you run into some of the biggest barriers to pumping at work compared to other professions. All too often, I hear of teachers not being provided with an adequate space in overcrowded schools or not being given enough time to adequately pump. Breaks are few and far between, it can be difficult to get someone to get your class, and when do you even have time to pee with all that?!
To all the pumping teachers out there, this post for you. I reached out to our Facebook community and asked REAL teachers to give me allllll the tips and tricks.
What you don't know about your breast pump actually can hurt you, literally.
It can hurt your nipples AND your milk supply. Knowing how to use your pump properly and having a pump that fits is the difference between being successful with pumping and struggling to keep up supply or worse, causing damage to your nipples.
When you're struggling with pumping and maintaining your milk supply, don't be so hard on yourself. First of all, there's enough mom guilt coming from other directions and second, it's likely not be you. The first place you should be looking is the equipment you're using and how you're using it. It's almost never something wrong with a mama, but instead, improper usage or malfunction of our pumps.
So if you're not sure if it fits, pumping is uncomfortable for you, or your output is not what it should be, you can get support to figure it out.
I HATE pumping. Hate it. I don't think I have ever met a soul who loves it. (If you're out there.... raise your hand!)
At 4 weeks postpartum, I started pumping once a day using my Advance Double Electric from Medela for “practice bottle” milk, bath/skincare milk, and I’d freeze anything I didn’t end up using. I only pump for 10 minutes (because I hate pumping) and always during my son’s morning nap, which was 1-2 hours after he nursed last.
When I heard about the new PersonalFit Flex Breast Shields by Medela I had to try them. According to their marketing campaigns these new shields to increase comfort and get more milk faster. (Sounds great Medeala! I would love to pump less often and more comfortably.) Their claim is you'll pump 11.8% more milk and have a faster milk ejection than the traditional shields that come with the pumps. The shields are also made to be compatible with any Medela breast pump.
But does it really work?? I am always skeptical when it comes to anything marketed to breastfeeding moms. So I got a set, and decided to try! In this post I go over differences I noticed between both models, things I liked and didn’t like, and how much milk I got using each.
Working and pumping makes you feel over the top burned out! Am I right?
Dragging baby to day care.
Coming home to make dinner.
Bed time routine.
When do you get time for you??? If you're not practicing regular self care, you will crash and burn.
In this podcast episode we are talking all about realistic, unselfish ways to add self care into your every day. We are going to help you recharge, regroup, and fill your cup so you can keep going like the badass you are!
Are you confused by the Break Time Law for Nursing Moms?? Most of the moms in the Successful Breastfeeding Community were!
And it's not surprising. The law is wordy, confusing, and full of loop holes and exemptions.
On this episode of the Successful Breastfeeding Podcast I am interviewing Tifani Sadek, a corporate attorney who previously was in private practice for small businesses. She will be answering our questions about the Break Time Law for Nursing Moms. Tifani is not only an attorney, but also a working and pumping mom and member of our Successful Breastfeeding Community!
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.
When you are pumping, especially at work, time is everything! Nobody wants to be attached to a pump any longer than they need to be. With this hands on pumping technique, you'll be able to cut down on the amount of time you spend attached to your breast pump!
If you are planning to go back to work, and want more info, check out our other blog post: Top 7 Tips for Successful Breastfeeding Back at Work!
In the United States, the average maternity leave only lasts about 6 weeks, and it takes just about that long for your milk supply to fully establish.
After your leave, you’re expected to leave baby behind and return to work. This is not only emotionally difficult, but presents challenges when you’re breastfeeding. Working moms have an unfair disadvantage when it comes to breastfeeding, and the statistics make this very apparent- 80% of mother’s will stop breastfeeding within one month of returning to work. These statistics are very discouraging. That being said, if you have the right tools under your belt, you will be ahead of the game and can take down the obstacles working and pumping put in your way.
It’s important to be aware of potential challenges and know how to beat them- so let’s break it down!
Kelly Maher, CLC, CLE
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