Hey mama, Need some pumping at work tips? This is a guest post by Schianne from Katherine Rosman
Returning to work after the birth of a new baby is hard for every mom. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first or third child, separation anxiety sets in and you just count down the hours and minutes until you can see that sweet face again.
Breastfeeding mothers have it especially tough; milk production doesn’t come to a halt just because you aren’t with your baby 24/7. You still need to find a time and place to pump at work, and this can be a little less than comfortable.
There is this stigma that surrounds breastfeeding. People on the outside find it a distraction or highly sexualized, not seeing it for what it truly is: the breasts doing what they were made to do.
Because of this stigma, it can be difficult for a mother to feel comfortable pumping or breastfeeding outside of her own home.
While we can’t make this stigma disappear overnight, we do hope that a few tips will help you feel more comfortable while you are pumping at work.
The Best Tips for Pumping at Work
Here are our 6 best tips to make pumping at work easier and more comfortable.
Find Your Spot
The first step to feeling more comfortable at work is location, location, location. After all, without a good place to pump it just can’t happen.
Start by talking to your boss. Find out what your rights are and ask what the best place would be for you to pump at work.
They are legally obligated to provide you with a place and enough time, and this doesn’t mean 10 minutes per day in the bathroom.
If you have your own office, you’re in luck. You’ve likely already made the space your own with photos of your family, your own computer setup, and a nice comfy chair.
Just draw the blinds, put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign, and you’re good to go.
Invest in the Right Pumping Equipment
While it would be nice to have unlimited time to relax and pump, this isn’t realistic, so you need to find ways to be efficient.
They may be a little more expensive, but a hospital grade double electric pump is a necessity for pumping at work.
You can be sure to efficiently drain both breasts in less time since you are able to pump both sides at once.
You may want to also look at getting a good nursing cover that works well for pumping (and breastfeeding if you desire). There is no guarantee that you won’t be accidentally walked in on at some point.
Dress for the Job
There are few things worse than being out with your baby and needing to pump or breastfeed with the wrong clothes on.
That romper or dress may be cute, but when you have to get naked to take care of business, it can be a bit inconvenient.
Plan ahead. Buy some special outfits that make pumping at work a bit easier. You can either invest in specific breastfeeding clothes that have easy access points, or you just use your normal clothes that are easy to move aside.
Make it Your Time
Pumping sessions at work are like mini-breaks throughout the day. It can be a great time for you to relax or catch up on a few things.
In addition to making your pumping space comfortable and personalized, you may also want to keep it stocked with essentials for relaxation.
Keep a pair of headphones nearby or a good set of speakers so you can listen to that podcast or soothing music. Snacks are also a must. After all, producing milk is hungry work, constantly burning calories.
Flip through your favorite magazine or read a few pages of that novel you can’t seem to be able to put down.
You can even take those times to shut your eyes for a few minutes. Just because you are working doesn’t mean you are sleeping through the night yet.
Your eyes may also be tired if you have to stare at a computer screen all day.
Finally, make sure to keep a photo of your baby close by. Seeing your baby can actually help your let down, and help you to pump more milk quickly.
Pumping at work – and just work in general – can be very stressful. You are worried about your baby at home or in childcare.
You have to worry about performing well in your job. You may even be stressing about what people are thinking of what you are doing.
We cannot emphasize this enough: don’t stress. Your pumping times should really be focused on reducing your stress in that particular moment in time.
Don’t worry about what other people are thinking. Just know that you are doing right by your baby by providing the best nutrition available.
Also, be sure to focus on the time that you are pumping, not the amount that is coming out. It is very likely that your supply may drop a little since you aren’t breastfeeding on demand and are keeping to a set schedule instead.
Your body will produce the amount you need over time.
If you need a little extra mental boost you can read some breastfeeding encouragement.
Educate Others About Pumping in the Workplace
Breastfeeding and pumping can feel quite lonely when you feel like people are judging you, but oftentimes, people just don’t understand. You may need to be ready to educate others to help them see that it is completely normal.
What you are doing is completely natural. Your body is producing the best nutrition for your little one just as it was designed to do.
There should be no shame in that. Be your own advocate even if there is no one else to back you up.
It’s not very often that someone would actually speak up against pumping in the office, but if they should, you need to feel like you can share some facts with them.
Some of the common arguments include:
- “Why can’t you just do it in the bathroom?” – It’s unsanitary.
- “Can’t it wait until you get home?” – Milk production doesn’t keep business hours.
- “It’s indecent exposure.” – Not if you remain covered or in a private area.
Issues with pumping in the workplace rarely arise, but don’t feel like you can’t defend your rights or take it to a person with authority if you feel it is necessary.
You should be able to feel as comfortable pumping at work as you are feeding your baby at home.
Make it your space and your time so you can relax and enjoy a few moments of quiet during your busy work day.
Taking a Breast Pumping Course
Finally, take a pumping course. This Ultimate Back to Work Pumping course is super affordable and will help you pump like a pro at work in no time.