Essentials for Pumping for every working mom
Tips to make the whole process of pumping at work less painful.
The birth of your child, as it was for many others, is a joyful thing. But, in a few weeks, you will have to go back to work, keeping you separated from your baby. In the past, many women had to wean their children to go back to work. It isn’t so anymore because pumping at work is now possible, especially since the Affordable Care Act bill was passed into law.
Pumping at work, while it is inconvenient, time-consuming, and most times uncomfortable, is doable. In this article, we will give you tips to make the whole process of pumping at work less painful.
It would help if you did not wait till you head back to work before getting yourself accustomed to the process of pumping. During your break from work, it would be best to begin pumping down breastmilk for your baby to get them used to being fed from a bottle. It would help if you started doing this 2-3 weeks before you go to work.
To begin preparing your baby for life without your breast, let a caretaker or anyone else you trust with your baby be the first person to feed them from a bottle. You might think they are babies and shouldn’t know the difference, but they do; they are observant little cuties.
A baby will wonder why you feed them from the bottle and not from the usual source they’ve grown to love. Seeing a different face feeding them may have them less confused about the whole situation. Finally, try to be out of the house early into bottle-feeding your baby. Babies can smell their mothers from a distance and want your breast if they know you are around.
Getting your baby used to the bottle at the right time is essential. As stated earlier, 2-3 weeks before resuming at work is sufficient time to begin, but you can also start earlier than that. It is advised by lactation experts, however, that lactating mothers should wait till at least a baby is a month old before introducing their newly-born to life by the bottle.
Storing the milk is another half of the story. There will be times when you would have more milk than your baby can finish in a day, and you will have to store it so it can retain its quality when your baby takes it the next day or the day after that. You can store breast milk at room temperature for 4 hours. Need to keep it for longer? You can tuck it safely for 24 hours in ice packs and an insulated cooler. Breastmilk can be frozen for 6-12 months, even though taking it within the first six months is best. Lastly, you can make it usable for four days by keeping it in a refrigerator.
Practice makes perfect, and you will need loads of it to get things right. Like all things in life, don’t feel sad if things don’t go perfect at first. Seek advice from experienced mothers or an expert on what you think you might be doing wrong. Keep at it, and soon enough, your baby would be smiling at the sight of a bottle.
One of the non-debatable things needed to pump breastmilk is, of course, a breast pump. Pumping is messy and tedious, so you want to make sure you choose a breast pump to give you the least amount of stress. The different types of breast pumps are listed below:
Double-electric breast pumps: They pump both breasts at once. If speed is a feature you want in your breast pump, then the double-electric is the natural choice for you.
Single-electric breast pumps: They have a price advantage over the double-electric, but they are slower as you will only be able to pump one breast at a time.
Battery-operated breast pumps: These are slower than the electric-powered breast pumps but offer portability as a feature. It is easy to pump breast milk with them in a place with no power outlet.
Manual breast pumps: They cannot power-on using electricity or batteries. They are inexpensive and lightweight, but your physical effort determines the quantity of breastmilk you can express, which usually isn’t much.
Leaking is common among breastfeeding women and may occur during different periods of lactation.
Lactating mothers might suffer leaks in the first few weeks of breastfeeding when returning to work and during sexual encounters. Breast pads or nursing pads can help in such situations. Here are some of the different breast pads we think you’ll be comfortable using.
Silicone pads: These pads are not absorbent like some of the others. They work by putting pressure on the breast to prevent leaks from happening.
Disposable nursing pads: They are pads you wear once and toss into the bin when you are done. They are great for traveling since washing them is not an option.
Reusable nursing pads: They are more cost-effective than disposable ones. The possibility of washing them and reusing them makes this so.
Pumping bras are an essential accessory for lactating mothers. It is extra-helpful because it allows for a hands-free approach to pumping breast milk. It holds the breast pump flanges in place while using the breast pump. When choosing a pumping bra, pick a comfortable one, that has extra hooks to accommodate your changing size, and has padding to absorb milk leakage.
Pumping breastmilk can be a little embarrassing, more so if your workplace does not provide a separate room for lactating mothers. You should wear clothes that are easy to pull off and on as fast as you need them. Two-piece outfits with a top and a bottom are the most useful. Nursing tanks should also be in your pumping armory. They are easy to snap off when you need to pump or breastfeed. If you wouldn’t want to change how you dressed, a nursing cover is an appropriate fabric you should possess.
Your baby’s milk has an expiry period. If you pump at work to take home to your baby – in 4 hours, that milk would no longer be suitable. A milk cooler stops that from happening. It cools your milk to a temperature that makes sure it is still viable for the baby when you get off work.
Breastmilk storage bags are plastic bags that you can store your milk in as an alternative to a bottle. They are unlike your everyday food plastic bags. They are thicker, have volume markings, BPA-free, and FDA-approved. Before you choose a breastmilk storage bag, consider how it freezes up (good ones freeze in a way that takes up minimal space), ensure it is food-grade plastic, and check if it still has a firm seal.
Pumping is stressful, messy, and inconvenient. However, these devices help to make it a little less of that. If you want to keep breastfeeding your baby when you resume work, you need them.
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