Tips for Breastfeeding Mamas Returning to Work

Tips for Breastfeeding Mamas Returning to Work

Oct 01 2017 0 Comments Guest Blogger

breastfeeding bra with supportive adjustable straps

Are you a career mama who’s also committed to breastfeeding? Here is your back-to-work checklist for pumping success. 

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.


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.

When you introduce the bottle, make sure that it is given by other people only. This sends the message that you are only available for nursing, and also lets your baby become accustomed to receiving bottles from other caregivers (not mom).

About a month before you head back start building a freezer stash equal to one day’s milk for your baby (about 25-30 ounces). You’ll also want to speak with your boss about your need to pump regularly; this will give them plenty of time to make arrangements for you if they don’t have a convenient plan to accommodate nursing mothers.

Finally, right before you head back, do a trial run of your childcare plan. Drop your child at daycare or invite the nanny over for a half day and see if there are any glitches you need to work through. If there are, regroup and implement solutions so when it’s the “real deal” you’re confident your baby will be happy and well cared for.


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.

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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