Making the decision to breastfeed your baby is oftentimes a personal decision that is judged by others and can be difficult to come to. It is especially difficult for a mother that has plans to get back to work and continue breastfeeding.
Leaving your baby and getting back to work is hard enough and it can be especially difficult while breastfeeding because you will need to set aside time to pump. Below, you will find some advice to use to find the best ways to pump while at work.
You will need a few supplies to successfully pump while at work. You obviously want to invest in a quality pump that will quickly pump the breast milk. You do not want to be stuck in hiding while you pump for long periods of time, so a quality pump is crucial.
You will also need a small cooler bag, unless you are able to store the milk in a refrigerator at work. A blanket, wet wipes and anything else you need to make pumping comfortable for you should also be included in your at work pumping kit.
It might be easier for you to purchase doubles of the things that you need to pump. This way, you will not have to lug the pumping kit to work each day and back home in the evening. If you cannot afford or choose not to invest in a second pump, at least keep your blanket, wipes and other items at work to reduce the amount of stuff you have to haul back and forth.
Every workplace must provide women a private space to pump. Ask your boss about where you can pump before you have your baby. This way, if there is not any place already in existence, your boss has the time to get something worked out for you and you will know where you are to go without asking when you return to work.
Oftentimes, your breasts will tell you how often you need to pump. They will get hard and sore if you wait too long between pumping. Pumping at least every three hours should be enough to provide your baby with the breast milk she needs while you work and to keep your breasts from becoming engorged. Some women will have to pump more often and some less. It will be up to you to find the routine that works best for you.
The length of time that you pump is really determined by you and the flow of your breast milk. Each woman is different and will require a different amount of time to pump. Oftentimes, fifteen minutes is all that is needed if you are pumping every three hours or so. You will know from pumping at home how much time is required for you to successfully pump in a sitting before you go back to work.
This information should help you prepare for the new life you are adjusting to while at work. Enjoy your time with your baby and know that you can work and breastfeed for as long as you want or need.