Are you a career mama who’s also committed to breastfeeding? While there are legal protections and innovative products to help you when you return to work, that doesn’t mean you won’t have some trepidation about what it will be like when you’re back at the office and have to disappear to pump on the regular. If you’re getting ready to return to work and are wondering how to best prepare, check out this guide from Mom Loves Best to make your transition back as smooth as possible.
PUMPING AT WORK MADE EASY: YOUR BACK-TO-WORK CHECKLIST FOR PUMPING SUCCESS
During Maternity Leave
Don’t stress yourself out about going back to work, but do start preparing for your eventual return well before you report back to the office. Once your baby is about three weeks of age you can start pumping regularly. This will not only allow you to test out your equipment and make sure you have all the necessary parts and gear, but having expressed milk will also give your baby the opportunity to practice taking a bottle.
After You Return
It might be tough initially, but stick to your plan to pump regularly at work. Make it easier by finding ways to reduce the stress of pumping and increase your work productivity. Invest in a hands-free pumping bra if you don’t already have one so you can write reports or return e-mails while expressing milk. Instead of washing your pump parts after each pumping session, simply keep them in the refrigerator between sessions to keep them sanitary. And keep your evening schedule clear, so you don’t exhaust and overwhelm yourself as you’re adjusting to your new pace of life.
You've Got This Mama
When you head back to work, just know that your first week back will be hard - but that things will improve going forward. As exhausting as it might feel, you’ll quickly adjust. Just give yourself lots of grace as you transition - and also carve out plenty of time to snuggle your baby at night.
Jenny Silverstone, Author
Jenny Silverstone is the mother of two, a writer and a breastfeeding advocate. You can find sharing information for overcoming common breastfeeding struggles, pumping tips and more on her blog MomLovesBest.com.