So when it comes to breastfeeding, it’s like, totally super fun, like, all the time!
Said no mom ever.
Choosing to breastfeed your baby is a full time job, you guys. I mean, sure, it IS an absolute flippen joy to beable to feed your child with your very own bossom. Don’t get me wrong. BUT it’s taxing, for sure. And the thing about the commitment to breastfeed is that you often find yourself in the act of extracting milk from your body even when you’re not with your baby. (Pumping, it’s called pumping.)
It’s even more challenging when you’re at work and your baby feeders are needing to be emptied. But, there are ways to prepare for it, friends!
Here are a few tips (you can find more on the Medela website) to help you have a more pleasant, uhh, pumping experience, at work:
Get yo’ gear
An easy to transport bag should be holding all your breast pump equipment together. Be sure to include:
– Your breast pump (duh). I prefer the Medela range, because its sucking motion mimics that of my baby’s, which means I express more milk!
– Your storage bottles or bags. I use Ziplock bags, but you can totally purchase the handy Medela storage bags or bottles for this.
– Your marker, if you’re using Ziplock bags. Use this to date the storage bags.
– Breast pads or something to clean up with. (Leaky “other” boob, anyone?)
– Wet wipes are always handy.
– Something to read, or a pic of your baby, that can help to stimulate that let down.
It would be great to have a pack like this, at work, and a separate pump at home. Take this advice from a mom who totally forgot half of her breast pump at home one time. My boobs were not happy.
Get yo’ space
You are entitled to two 30-minute breaks per day, for expressing milk for your baby at work. Did you know that? Well, you are! This right is protected by the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.
Drop your HR an email, before your maternity leave ends, to let them know that you will be expressing and to find out about the allowed time for this and the required private room (not a toilet) for you to pump in. We don’t have to be dramatic about it, moms. I mean, an interview room or a private boardroom will do, provided there is privacy, a comfy chair and electric outlet.
Get yo’ timing right
As your maternity leave comes to an end, begin to jot down the times when your baby would usually breastfeed. This gives you an idea of when to schedule your expressing time, at work. It will also help you to express more milk since your milk supply will usually follow the same schedule as baby’s feeding times.
Hey, you could even arrange a practice day, yo! While on maternity leave, allow baby’s carer to bottle feed for the day, so that you can do a trial run of pumping at work. I usually schedule my first day back at work to be on a Friday so that I can get the hang of expressing and allow my body to adjust slowly to the new routine.
You need a Medela breast pump
Okay, I’m not just saying so because I was sponsored to. My Medela breast pump totes changed my life, you guys! This award winning breast pump does the job, and then some! Most pumps feature 2-Phase Expression technology, which mimics babies’ natural sucking rhythms, allowing mums to express more breast milk in less time. HOW COOL?!
The Medela range of breast pumps are all high standard and high performance. From a hospital-grade Symphony, to a high-performance manual Harmony pump (I love mine – it’s handbag friendly!) to the double side Freestyle electric or the mini-electric (this one is great for my night time pumps), there is basically something for everyone.
I like that Medela continuously works with researchers and developers to provide us with the best feeding and breast feeding devices and products. I mean, they take their job seriously. I appreciate that. Although challenging, your season of breastfeeding your baba is so short and special. Choose products, like the Medela’s range, that will help to make the experience of breastfeeding and the collecting, handling and storing breast milk easier and more convenient.
Disclaimer: Medela gave me one of their pumps. But I’ve owned a few over the years and I love them all! My comments in this post are completely honest.