Breastfeeding at Work
Are you going back to work while breastfeeding your newborn? Breastfeeding while working can be a big adjustment – but with a good plan in place, this overwhelming problem can be minimized. Here are 7 tips from the top breastfeeding / breast pumping experts to help make the transition easier.
1.) Be Prepared / Have A plan
First, let’s make sure you have all the supplies you will need along with the proper set up at work. It’s important that you have a designated place at work where you can store your breast milk safely and securely. For the best results, store your breast milk in a temperature-controlled refrigerator, freezer, or a good cooler with ice packs. It’s very helpful to have a portable cooler and ice packs when travelling back and forth to work.
2.) Label Breast Milk
Have labels handy if you keep milk stored in a shared refrigerator or cooler. This is a great habit to get into, so people know what is in the fridge or cooler and how long it has been there. Also, it’s helpful if there are multiple women who use this space, so they know whose milk each container belongs to.
3.) Pick A Good Breast Pump
Make sure to have a reliable pump and all the necessary accessories to go with it. Additionally, an extra set is helpful if you can leave one at work. At The Breastfeeding Shop, we have had many moms come in on their lunch break in a panic as they had forgotten their pumping accessories at home. Luckily, most insurances companies cover additional replacement accessories.
4.) Find A Safe Place To Pump
It is essential to find a private space to pump. If possible, find a quiet place like an empty conference room or office space to pump in. Moreover, you can even use a nursing cover to create privacy if it’s hard to find a private location. Additionally, know your rights as a newly pumping mom by checking out this website for the federal and state breastfeeding laws.
5.) Dress For Breastfeeding
It’s important to dress comfortably for pumping breaks. Personally, I found that button up shirts or a tank with a cardigan was helpful and convenient for pumping when I was at work. There are a variety of pumping bras that you can wear all day and also some new wearable pumps that are very convenient, like the Elvie Stride.
6.) Talk To Your Boss About Breastfeeding
Be sure to communicate your pump breaks with leadership. Let your boss know ahead of time when you need to take regular breaks for pumping. Consistent communication helps ensure that all parties involved are prepared for your schedule changes. Furthermore, this will help ensure that other employees understand that there may be times when you’re unavailable because you’re taking care of a personal matter and not simply avoiding work altogether.
7.) Set Up A Lactation Consultation
Lastly, be sure to consult with lactation experts from the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBCLC). Additionally, professional consultations are covered by most insurances, so you should get in contact as soon as possible. Check out our lactation consultation partners at Nest Collaborative. They are amazing and can help you put a pumping schedule together and deliver other useful tips.