The No-Nonsense Guide to Breastfeeding for Working Mothers
Yes, ALL mothers are working mothers, but in this instance, I’m referring to moms who are employed outside of the home.
I was one of the working mothers who found the transition to work after maternity leave a bit difficult; for the first several months, I often found myself frustrated, confused and upset – mostly because I didn’t have any systems in place to try to make my daily routine a bit easier, and I wasn’t totally sure how long I should be pumping, what would make the process easier and more productive, and the like.
I truly wish I had had some suggestions for breastfeeding at work – anything that would have helped me feel more sane and calm in what was a pretty tumultuous time for me.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves; before we can really go any further, it helps to know how to talk to your boss about breastfeeding at work. Regardless of gender, not every supervisor is always so supportive of your decision to pump on the job; it’s up to you to help him or her understand that you can be a nursing mama and still be a stellar employee.
I’ll give you some suggestions and information to help you prepare for this important conversation with your boss (which, ideally, will happen before you return from maternity leave).
A suggested morning routine would have been nice, so that I had an idea of what to do and when. The most important thing I figured out was to get myself ready first – that way, I only had to worry about getting one person ready to get out the door, rather than two.
It helps if you have a daily pumping schedule set up, for stability not only in your workday but also in your milk production. Plus, this will also probably help keep your supervisor happy by demonstrating how you can seamlessly fit pumping into your workload, as well as keep co-workers from busting in on you while you pump. By providing a set list of times where you do not want to be disturbed, it makes it easier for everyone.
what to pack in your breast pumping bag
is another crucial key to making it easy to pump at work. You don’t need a ton of things outside of the “duh” items (breast pump and bottles), but I found several things to be absolutely essential in making this an efficient and successful process each day, and I want to share it with you so that, hopefully, you can also see pumping at work to be an extremely worthwhile and satisfying effort.
Okay, now down to business.
Setting up your own mini lactation room anywhere
is super easy once you know how to do it; I’m truly convinced that once you know how to do this, you can pump just about anywhere, from a bathroom to your office to a (parked) car.
(You heard it here first: Don’t pump and drive!)
After you’ve finished each pumping session,
cleaning your breast pump at work
is the next step; I know each work situation is different, so I have several solutions to help you figure out the best way to quickly and inconspicuously clean your breast pump supplies so that everything’s ready to go for the next session. I’m all about speed and efficiency, people.
Just remember: Where there’s a will, there’s a way – and I want to show you, and other working mothers, that with the right tools and mindset, it’s totally possible to continue nursing your child after you return to work, in almost every field and working situation.
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