Several mothers return back to the workforce while they’re still breastfeeding their babies. Certain obstacles can pose a threat to your milk supply if you’re not careful, but rest assured that we’ve compiled a list of helpful tips to help you clear these obstacles.
Relax, it’s going to be okay.
If you’re struggling with returning to work after maternity leave, check out these tips from my Misty.
1. Get a Routine Returning to Work While Breastfeeding
Your body will adjust to pumping in the same way it did to breastfeeding. To achieve letdown, it helps to keep a similar routine that you have while breastfeeding your baby at home.
If you normally keep water or a snack nearby, do the same thing at work that you do at home.
Keeping a picture of your baby or a blanket of theirs is useful. Mothers naturally achieve letdown when they hear their baby’s voice, smell them or see them.
Sit in a relaxing room that can be kept to yourself for the time-being.
Remember to relax. It’s hard to achieve letdown if you’re stressed about it. Closing your eyes and imagining a letdown can help too.
If you’re struggling with breastfeeding for any reason, check out these general breastfeeding tips from another experienced mother.
2. Pumping Timing Tips
Pumping requires timing. Since you’ll be a working mom, it means that you’ll have to find the time to pump around your other duties.
However, pumping is important, and if you don’t make regular times to do it, you can start to lose your milk supply.
Don’t put other things before pumping. Get a regular schedule of pumping and working throughout the day.
You will need about three pumping sessions during an 8-hour workday, which means that you need to pump every two-and-a-half to three hours.
Need more breastfeeding help? Check out this Ecourse called the Ultimate Breastfeeding Class from Milkology! I absolutely loved it, learned so much and can’t wait to see how baby Sharp #3 does with all these tips and tricks I learned!
3. Breastfeeding Clothing
It’s easier to pump at work when you wear blouses and other tops that are easy to open. Think of wearing camisoles with jackets over them, sweaters, blouses and v-necks.
If you can wear more informal clothing, layers works wonderfully. Invest in breastfeeding bras if you haven’t already. And make sure to find the right kind of nursing bra.
This makes it easier to use pumps. Use a breastfeeding shawl or blanket in case someone accidentally walks in.
4. Water and Nutrition
It’s tempting to get caught up with work so much that you don’t drink enough water and eat enough food, but this can cause your supply to decrease.
Regularly sip water throughout the day, and don’t skimp on your nutrition. Meal prep makes it easy to meet your caloric needs throughout the day.
You’ve probably already decided on the pump you want. A double breast pump can help you to pump in quicker time, but it’s a good idea to keep a manual pump for emergency use.
Keep extra batteries on-hand in case you can’t find an outlet.
Gallon-sized zip-up baggies can store your breast pump parts and bottles.
Keep these in the refrigerator at work to help keep them germ-free.
If you don’t have a fridge, use a cooler with ice packs. Keep extra flanges and other parts in case something breaks or tears.
Don’t worry if your milk supply starts to dip a little. Pumping at work can be stressful at first, but you will master it. If you stick with it, it’ll get easier down the road.
As your baby grows, you won’t need to pump as many times per day. To get supply up again, you can pump extra.
Just one or two extra sessions a day can help to build up your supply again. Don’t worry. You’re going to do an awesome job.
Make sure you return to work with all your breastfeeding essentials! Grab the checklist!