Working Mums at the Office: 6 Tips to Make Breastfeeding Work
One of the questions that weigh heavily on a new mum’s mind is this: How will I pump when I return to work after my maternity leave ends?
Breastfeeding has a myriad of benefits, many of which motivate mums to continue for at least the first few months after childbirth.
Today, it’s common to see many working mums who have taken on an equal role to support the family and pursue their career aspirations. However, where breastfeeding is involved, things may become a little trickier to manage.
How You Can Prepare for Pumping at Work
It’s natural to be concerned over how your pumping schedule is going to look like at work, if it’s even feasible enough. Some mums have tight work schedules that leave little time for lunch or other activities, much less spending a good half hour pumping away.
While some companies may offer greater support in this aspect than the rest, it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to establish a successful way to continue expressing breastmilk.
- Start Your Stash Early: It’s imperative to begin building your milk stockpile about two weeks before returning to work. You can also prepare your helper or family member who is acting as the caregiver, if any, about how the process works.
Make sure that the caregiver fully supports and understands breastfeeding and knows how to prepare frozen breast milk before giving it to your baby. This is how you can ensure that your little one is getting his or her nutrients for added protection.
- Get a Good Pump: What pump do you prefer when you’re breastfeeding? This really depends on your personal requirements. If you prioritise an efficient pumping session so you can head back to work quickly, we recommend a hospital-grade pump like the Cimilre S6+.
Customised for working mums or mums who are always on-the-go, it comes with a built-in rechargeable battery that offers up to 4 hours of lasting usage. You can even customise your Massage and Expression modes to help in let-down and milk removal for added ease and results.
On the other hand, if a lightweight and portable pump sounds just like it’ll fit your needs, particularly if you don’t enjoy lugging a heavier pump to work or if you’re constantly travelling around, a handy portable electric breast pump like the Cimilre P1 pump may be your convenient answer.
Weighing a mere 250g, this compact and powerful pump features a built-in rechargeable battery that you can power conveniently with a power bank, making usage easy and accessible.
A double electric pump is going to be much more time- and effort-saving than a single manual pump, so that’s something to think about too.
- Decide When You Want to Pump: Making a schedule can be beneficial when you’re pumping at work. It helps you to settle into a comfortable routine and achieve balance.
It is advised to plan your pumping sessions at the same timings or intervals that you would adhere to at home. This helps prevent engorgement, leaking and mastitis. If you’re worried about leaking in front of an audience, it’s also ideal to spend on a sufficient amount of breast pads.
Schedule a pumping session just before heading to work so that you can have some time before the next session! Likewise, try to pump after reaching home so that your baby won’t feel hungry for long.
- Rest and Relax: It’s easy to feel hurried and frazzled, especially if you’re new to this and if you’re still trying to establish a comfortable routine. Sometimes, things may not always work in your favour, and you might find yourself delaying pumping sessions or encountering other kinds of uncomfortable situations.
When you do manage to sit down and start pumping, it’s important to remember to calm down and relax. You can achieve this using a few steps, whether it’s listening to soothing music, taking a few deep breaths, thinking positive thoughts (like how adorable your cherubic baby is), or even whipping out a piece of baby clothing to sniff your baby’s scent.
Don’t be too hard on yourself and try to take it easy. A peaceful mum is a mum who is likely to get a good milk flow with minimal issues. After some time, your letdown reflex may be used to pumping without these cues!
- Find a Suitable Spot: Where can you pump at work? If your workspace doesn’t come with an enclosed room, look for a private spot where you can pump. It should come with an electrical outlet and a comfortable chair.
Some places you can consider are conference rooms, an empty office or a designated lactation room. Remember to store the expressed milk in a refrigerator to ensure that it stays fresh, preferably inside a cooler bag, and label your it so that others know.
- Get Support at Home and at Work: As awkward as it may sound, it’s essential to let your colleagues know that you’re going to be pumping. This helps to avoid potential misunderstandings; after all, you’ll be gone for some time at intervals, so it’s better to get support in this way.
At home, you should also receive support from your spouse and family members because trying to juggle all these new tasks can be draining. Help can alleviate tough adjustments and make it easier for you to adapt. You can also enjoy a breather when you need it.
Continuing to breastfeed even while at work is possible with a few changes and adaptations.Embrace these new changes with a positive mindset and others’ help so that you can quickly and efficiently settle into a regular routine. Everyone has a part to play, and the tasks do not simply fall on you alone. Seek help when necessary and voice your concerns to the people around you when needed!