If you are reading this then you may be expecting a little bundle of joy or probably already have one of your own, so first, congratulations! If you thought giving birth was hard, being a mom is even harder — but so rewarding. From rocking your newborn to sleep to hearing your baby’s first words to seeing your toddler use the potty successfully for the first time, being a mommy is so satisfying. But what do you do if you plan to go back to work? There is so much to think about. Especially if you plan to keep nursing.
Where will you nurse? When will you pump? The good news is that nursing and going back to work is very possible – millions of new mamas do it daily which means you can too. Check out these 8 useful ideas to help make your transition back to work as smooth as possible.
Back-to-work tips for the busy mom
Don’t slack when it comes to getting a good pump. Ladies, this is key! You want to invest in a breast pump that gets the job done quickly and effectively. Start with a double electric breast pump. These pumps allow you to pump both breasts at the same time so you can empty both breasts and utilize your time wisely. Also, a hands-free nursing bra is a game changer for pumping mamas! Need to check email? No problem. Hands-free pumping bras allow you to multitask while pumping and the good news is that most fit discreetly under clothes.
Be methodical. Get pump parts washed and stored the night before work. Don’t wait until the morning of work to wash them all. You have enough going on. This also means getting your lunch, snacks and drinks packed up beforehand too. Have an iPhone or Android? There are so many helpful breastfeeding apps you can download to help you keep track of life and nursing.
Get childcare taken care of ahead of time. Whether grandma is watching your baby or you have found a nice daycare, get that planned while you are pregnant. There are sometimes waiting lists for daycares and you don’t want to get stuck on a long one.
Get a pumping schedule worked out. While working, try to pump when your baby would normally eat so not to cause any issues with your milk supply. Most moms pump at least 2-3 times per work day but obviously, it is dependent upon each mom.
Keep water and snacks nearby. It is extra important for nursing mamas to stay hydrated as your water intake can affect your milk supply. Also, keep healthy snacks nearby such as granola, bananas and whole wheat crackers. Nursing will take the energy out of you so staying nourished is key. If you want to produce more milk, check out the new Milkful Lactation oat bars — available in several different flavors!
Carve out extra time to pump. If your supply takes a hit from having to go back to work and pumping less, try to pump more on weekends and at night.
Get familiar with your work’s pumping room or area and make your employer aware of your needs. Find a pumping room nearby using mobile apps like Pumpspotting or Moms Pump Here.
Store your milk safely. While pumped milk is good at room temperature for 4-8 hours, many new mamas opt to buy a cooler bag set so you have extra space to store pumped milk, especially if there isn’t a fridge at your work that you can use.