Pumping at work can be tough for a lot of moms, especially if it’s their first time.
Leaving your baby at home after all those months of togetherness can make you feel stressed. But you’ve got to keep the pumping going even though you are joining the office again.
Honestly, it’s not that difficult. I had a twin to deal with and pumping wasn’t easier for me too. However, when I started to look for solutions, instead of thinking of the problems, I did get through.
I Have 10 Tips for You That Can Make Your Pumping at Work a Breeze.
1. A Dedicated Pumping Space for Pumping Comfortably
If it’s your first time, I don’t expect you to pump in the middle of the office with creepy coworkers roaming around.
Under the Affordable Care Act or more commonly known as Obamacare, your employer is legally obliged to give you a dedicated spot and breaks for pumping.
However, there are some loopholes in this law as it’s only applicable for offices with 50+ employees. So, if you are working in a small office with just a few employees, here’s what you should do:
- Talk to your boss or the HR to know if there is any dedicated space for pumping or if arrangements can be made so you can use a room for that purpose.
- Use a ‘do not disturb’ sign when you are in the room and keep it locked.
- Make sure that the room doesn’t have any hidden cameras that any co-workers might have placed to make a prank.
2. Find Pumping Partners to Stop Feeling Alone
If you are working in a big office with lots of employees, there could be others just like you. Try finding a mom who’s pumping at work and making friends.
Pumping alone isn’t fun. But if you are lucky enough to find a partner, do it together. Match the timings with her and stay connected. When you will be doing it together, it won’t feel awkward anymore.
You can also go a step ahead and find co-workers who have a baby at home, but aren’t pumping because of embarrassment. With a bit of persuasion, you can make them join the team.
3. Get Familiar With Your Pump Before You Go Back to Work
If you are waiting for your new pump to arrive so you can use it at work, wait for a few days. Don’t go to work with a pump that you are not familiar with.
Every pump has its own pros and cons and unique functionalities. Make sure to use a pump at home at least for a week before you bring it to the office premise.
You might have bought a dedicated pump for twins being a twinny mom. These sort of pumps have double pumping functionality and the settings can take some time to get used to.
Some pumps are made for low milk supply moms. The way you pump and operate the pump will make a huge difference. Try all those experiments at home and make use of every minute of the breaks in the office.
4. Decide on How You Can Store Your Milk in the Office
Every office has a refrigerator that employees can use. If others can store food or other drinks for their personal use, you also have the right to store your breast milk.
Pumping alone won’t help you. You need to keep the milk fresh too. So, label whatever container you are using and keep in the office’s refrigerator.
If you feel embarrassed or think co workers will start talking about it, you can invest in a portable cooler. The only issue is you will need to carry it back and forth to work.
5. A Hands-Free Breast Pump Can Help You Multitask
If you have gotten used to pumping in the office, you could use a hands-free breast pump to increase your work productivity. These pumps fit inside pumping bras and they won’t keep your hands occupied.
However, the main concern here is whether or not you are okay to pump among your co-workers. The great advantage of a hands-free pump is they are extremely discreet and your breasts will totally remain covered.
This tactic can work for you if your office doesn’t have a dedicated space or you are totally crammed with work and every minute matters.
6. Leaks Are Common, but Don’t Miss Your Pumping Sessions
I remember an awful lot of time when I had leaks and my dress started soaking with breastmilk. Those nightmare moments are hard to deal with.
But you. You don’t have to face what I had to face. Just say no to any work or meetings that come in your way to pumping.
Let your boss know that exact times when you will be unavailable, so that he knows when not to disturb you. Trust me, it’s better to spend your time pumping than to get embarrassed during a meeting.
7. Make Everything a Part of Your Routine
Just like how you have a routine for your sleep, you should also have a routine for breast pumping at work. This routine should involve the following:
- When you need to pack and organize your pump
- The timings of the break you are going to take
- When you should clean the pump
- Things you should carry with you
So, make a list of all the activities you need to do to make pumping at work successful. And then make a routine and stick with that. Your pumping life will become far less messier.
8. Stay Organized as Much as Possible
It’s a good idea to invest in a pump bag that you carry to work. This bag will help you stay organized and find all the essential stuff in one place.
You don’t want pieces of your pump lying around on your table and it will make your life a lot harder. You can also keep a few photos or a dress of your baby in the bag to feel at home.
When you are done with pumping, store the bag inside a locker or closet that you can find. Stolen pumps aren’t uncommon.
9. Leave a Second Pump at Work and Enjoy Your Freedom
These days a lot of moms prefer to have a second pump at work. Although a second pump can be expensive, it can pay off a big time.
It’s a pain to carry everything home and back to the office every single day. If you are only pumping at work and breastfeeding at home, a single pump will get the job done.
10. Managing Your Stresses Better Can Help Produce More Milk
A stressful mother doesn’t produce enough milk. But working in an office is bound to make you stressed out.
There are couple of things you can do to overcome this issue:
- Exercise on a regular basis. If you don’t have time after work, try to exercise early in the morning.
- Eat properly with a lot of healthy snacks.
- Make time for yourself. I know it’s tough, but don’t be too hard on yourself. If you miss a day’s pumping, don’t feel bad. You are doing it everyday the other day and that still makes you a great mom.
- Listen to your baby’s voice or watch some of his videos when pumping
- Avoid developing back pain when breastfeeding at home. Because those back pains can follow you to your work and also ruin your pumping sessions.
Now that you know what you need to do while pumping at work, it’s time to follow them. When you get back home, make sure to warm up the breast milk. Also, keep track of time as breast milk won’t last too long after warming. If you follow these tips, I’m sure your life will get a lot easier.