If you’re a breastfeeding and working mom, you know all too well the struggle of having to pump at work. I’m sure you’ve seen the memes of the “bag lady” mom carrying her 50 bags on her arms. I’m here to tell you that while this is funny and slightly true – you really can make it easier on yourself and here is how.
Now before I start, let me just say I am no pro. I’ve only been doing this for about 3 months now but I feel I’ve learned some tricks along the way. I won’t lie, knowing I had to return to my full-time job and still pump stressed me out. What I will say is take the time to set yourself up for success. What I mean by that is make sure you have everything you need altogether and readily accessible.
Set up for success.
If you’re like me, you want to use your time wisely and not spend more time gathering everything than pumping. What I found to be the most helpful for this was to get a functional pumping bag. I can keep my pump, parts, storage bags, and an icepack to keep my milk cold in one bag. Here is the one I have.
Along with having a functional bag, I found wearing a nursing/pumping bra to work can save so much time. You don’t have to mess around with putting on a pumping bra because you’re already wearing one. I have been at work before and forgot this and it makes the entire pumping session a pain. I am always able to produce more milk in a session when I am wearing the correct bra for pumping.
Talking about pumping sessions – bring the snacks with you!
I don’t know about you but pumping makes me SO hungry and SO thirsty all the time. I always keep a protein or granola bar in the side pocket of my bag to grab while I’m pumping. I also make sure to bring a water bottle with me to drink as well.
Timing is everything when you are pumping at work.
For me, this was the hardest part to get down. I had to figure out a schedule that worked for me so I wasn’t going too long or too soon between sessions. With that being said depending on your job, you have to be flexible with this. There are certainly some days I don’t go at the exact times I would like to and that’s okay. As long as you have an ideal schedule you try sticking to it helps.
In all of this, I have come to gain so much respect for moms who exclusively pump for their little one. Pumping is exhausting and a lot of work. Choosing to continue to breastfeed/pump when returning to work is a lot. I don’t think people quite understand that and it isn’t easy. There seems to be a stigma against being a working mom and having to take time out of your day to pump.
I am sure most of you (if you’re like me) aren’t huge fans of having to pump at work but you do it anyway. Day in and day out to provide for your sweet little one. I am here to cheer you on and say you are doing a great job!