Hola Mamas! I’m here and I’m alive keeping up with my kids and the 9-5! I wanted to get down to some basics. I am a breastfeeding and working mom. I have a three year old and an 1 year old at home. I breastfed both of them, and I still breastfeeding my #2. I also pumped at work or when I was away from baby. Which I’ll admit I was not perfect at doing, but if you know me my tiny Tina is basically my side kick!
However work is work, and I did try to pump as much as I could.
So, I wanted to put together a list of things and strategies that worked for me. Those that helped me A) Keep up my supply and B) Be prepared (aka kept my sanity alive)
So this will be a short series of posts. Because, there are tons of things, bags pump and gadgets you can buy to prep for your 1st day, and I promise we’ll get there! But these are the “non-material” things I felt where super important things to consider about Pumping at Work
1) Know the first day is going to be rough.
For me pumping is literally emotional, so my 1st day of pumping was very very draining.
- Remember to take a photo, your phone, or a baby item with you, this will also help with your “let downs”. I love this LC, Shari Criso she has amazing videos and tips especially how to get multiple let downs! Yeah that’s right… more than one!
- Bring any other things that might help, for instance a blanket if the room is cold or even a pillow!
I love to set up, kick off my shoes and turn off the lights. So find what works for you.
2) Find a schedule that works for you.
If your nursing every 2-3 hours then plan on pumping in the same rhythm. I nursed on demand, so at first I wasn’t sure how this was going to work. But, sure enough my body knew when it had been 2 hours!
- If you have crazy meeting schedules like I’ve had before, use that outlook calendar to block out slots for pumping.
- Create reminders on your phone or work computer. I love to set a 2 hour timer on my iwatch.
- At 1st I really needed to use my time effectively so I would time myself, my set up, pump, and clean up time all with a timer. Then I knew OK I can relax and let the machine do its thing for 10 minutes. I was sharing a room with 3 other moms and lots of meetings in between and so this was the only was I could make it work at least 3 times a day.
- I usually don’t like to explain that I have a “hard stop” because I need to pump, but with some people you may have to be obvious.
- Also, I prefer long pumping sessions, but short and frequent are probably the best.* So if you have a training session, make sure you let them know, that you’ll need s
ome extra time away etc.
- Do what works for you, if you need more time take it!
3) Talk to your managers.
You are going to need not only the time to pump, but a clean space with a plug, and hopefully a fridge, and sink.
- There a quite a few companies that are getting hip to our needs, but 3 years ago I pumped in a bathroom. Today, with number 2 we have a little room just for us. Lots of women also pump in their cars or even on their way home!
- Your manager may have already thought about you, and where you will pump, or they may have no clue. So, its best to have those conversations as soon as possible.
- As awkward as it maybe they will need know what your pump schedule will look like. Depending on your role and function, it can effect your productivity so you want to make sure your setting the right expectations!
- This is my second rodeo and so I’m so much more honest with myself and my limitations. I truly can’t take on too many extra projects because, every minute counts during my day. Last thing I want to do is try to keep up, and set off a fever or mastitis. Which I’ve done and its not fun! Or turn in a makeshift presentation, basically… this isn’t forever and I will have other opportunities, so be honest with your managers, it goes a long way.
4) Find your Network.
Talk to other moms, you maybe surprised to hear their stories and tips.
- Thats how I found out that in our larger corporate center, we had these lush mother’s rooms with pumps in every room!! So while, when I took my next job, I was career motivated, but it helped that now I would have 3 mothers room’s to choose from! Also, you may want to know if there are private fridges or ice machines in case you forget something!
- It can get lonely pumping and going back to your desk. Especially if your using your lunch and breaks just for pumping… So talk to other moms, most of us are excited to talk about our kids and share our experiences.
- Your network may know where you can get a free pump or where the secret room or fridge is. Don’t the neglect the power of your network.
5) Lastly, if I haven’t said it enough here.
Do… what… works… for… you!
- Whatever that is, pump for a few days or a year. You know whats best for you and baby. Having a healthy mama is always best. There is so much information and opinions out there it can be overwhelming.
Also, I am not a Lactation consultant, so any information I provide here are strictly from my own experience.* My biggest resource for breastfeeding questions is always www.kellymom.com, so there you go!
Your so amazing Mama! Know that you are enough. You and your super hero mama milk makingness! Eres hermosa y la mejor mama que existe!!