Many women think that breastfeeding ends once they return to work, but this isn’t the case. Pumping is a great way to keep your milk supply flowing by expressing milk during the day, and it ensures that your baby always has a bottle of mommy’s best. Your child will get all the proper nutrients and health benefits, even when you can’t be there.
I returned to work just three months after the birth of my son, but I was fortunate to only work part-time. It was a challenge breastfeeding one day and pumping the next, but I was able to adjust. Here are my five tips for moms about breast pumping and returning to work.
1. Invest in a good pump
According to Liz Pevytoe RN, IBCLC, a cheap pump can cause injury, low supply, and mastitis from lack of emptying so invest in a good pump.
My pump was a manual express by Medela. Since I was just part-time I felt like it was ok, but it would have been quicker and nicer with an electric one. I would definitely suggest an electric pump for full-timers.
Whatever pump you choose, make sure you are using the correct size flanges and if you are unsure then you should ask a lactation consultant for help.
2. Get into a pumping routine.
Pevytoe recommends starting and ending your workday empty (before you clock in and after you clock out, pump). Either way you choose to do it is fine, but the most important thing to remember is to stay on a schedule! Make sure you do not try to skip a pumping session as it could be detrimental to your supply or health.
I used to pump on my two 15 minute breaks (one morning, one afternoon) and at my lunch break. Every time I tried to skip a pumping I got a plugged duct and let me tell you that was not fun! I learned quickly the importance of a regular schedule!
3. Store your breast milk.
You can keep your milk in a cooler with ice packs so that you do not forget your expressed breast milk at work!
4. Make sure your bra fits properly!
This is critical because if not, you can get plugged ducts. A great fitting bra shouldn’t dig, pull, poke or otherwise cause discomfort. If it does, it’s not the right size (or bra) for you. Make sure it feels comfortable when you are moving around. There shouldn’t be any breast tissue spillage at the top, side or bottom of the cups. If there is, your cup size is too small. Try sizing up for a better fit. Your bra should feel comfortable and supportive. You shouldn’t have to settle for a so-so fit. Sometimes you will have to go up a cup size or two. Don’t let it concern you — sizes do vary among brands. Finding the perfect bra takes time and patience, but the way you will look (and feel) once you have found it will be worth all of your effort.
5. If you find you need to increase your milk supply, talk to a lactation consultant or your doctor for advice.
A galactogogue is a milk stimulating herb that can work well to increase your supply. Typically only works if you are frequently expressing breast milk. Also, it can make you sick if you tend to skip out on pumping sessions/emptying.
I have found Motherlove’s products to work wonderfully and recommend these.
- Nature’s Way Fenugreek Seed
- More Milk Special Blend by Motherlove
- Nature’s Way Blessed Thistle
- Organic Mother’s Milk Tea 16 Bags
Guest blog by Nicole Zoellner from NizoWear.com
Nizo Wear is the first nursing bra to have a unique, patented pocket in the pull-down flap that can hold a heating or cooling pack helping bring moms relief and healing faster while being extremely comfortable and super chic.
Nizo Wear nursing bras were inspired by the real-life experience of the company’s founder, Nicole Zoellner. When Nicole became pregnant with her son, she eagerly read all the materials her doctor had given her about the benefits of breastfeeding. She happily anticipated the feelings of serenity and bonding that nursing promises mother and infant.
So, Nicole set out to do for other nursing moms what no-one had been able to do for her: provide a practical, comfortable way to get relief from the soreness breastfeeding mothers often experience. Her design was patented, and Nizo Wear was born.
Visit www.nizowear.com for more information.
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