How to Balance Life While Breast-Pumping
Sep 15 2016 0 Comments
So, you’ve recently become a new mom, and pretty soon you’re going to have to go back to work.
Knowing how to balance life while pumping can save you from losing your shit. First of all, it is important to know when to pump. You should always pump when you have the most milk available. This tends to be early in the morning around 7 to 9am. If possible, breastfeed your baby, and then pump within fifteen minutes of breastfeeding to avoid pumping milk that is refilling the breasts. This way you can start building your freezer stash for when you need to be away from baby.
While pumping and creating your milk stash, always remember the Rule of Six. A bottle is good for six hours at room temperature, six days in a refrigerator, and 6 months in a freezer. Staying organized is a lifesaver. You can buy special boxes for freezer storage but I just used shoeboxes and labeled/stacked my milk according to date so I was always using the older milk first.
If you are returning to work, try to start with fewer hours than you worked before the baby arrived. It can make the transition easier for you and baby. While at work, try to pump at the times that your baby would be due for a feeding. It is your right to have a private place (not a bathroom) to pump. Have that conversation with your manager ahead of time and let others know the space is off limits during pump sessions.
One of the hardest and most important things to do in preparation for a successful pumping session is RELAX. It is important to not be stressed when pumping. Take a deep breath, close your eyes and try to use this time to relax. Another important thing to note is that hydration plays a big part in how successful your pumping session is. I am guilty of forgetting to drink enough water and have definitely noticed how it impacts pumping output. I keep a full water bottle with my pump and drink during each session.
Following these guidelines will make your life less stressful and your pumping sessions more successful. Any other tips you have for successful pumping? Please share in the comments!
We welcome your feedback and would love to know how we can continue to improve our hands-free pumping bra designs and make your "mom life" easier.
Carey Bradshaw, Author (& Nursing Aficionado)
Carey Bradshaw is a working mom just trying to balance it all. She runs Hooter Holster by Carey Bradshaw and Creative Butter. In her (scant) free time, besides perfecting her hands-free pumping bras, she loves yoga, reading, volunteering with All for Animals, and just being outside in the sunshine. Carey lives in Santa Barbara with her husband and business partner, George, their volunteer therapy dog, Buttercup, and their rambunctious and lovable toddler.
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