Tips for Breastfeeding and Going back to work
Today I’m sharing all my tips and tricks for breastfeeding and returning back to work.
You’ve been home with baby for the past 6 weeks, 12 weeks, 6 months… and now it’s time to go back to work.
I remember going back to work when my Allie was just 3 months old. It was SO hard. I was still breastfeeding… how does this all work? So many questions.
So today I’m breaking everything down for you and I hope to answer all your questions.
Tip #1 prepare you and baby first!
Introduce a bottle about around 3-4 weeks before you have to go back.
Make sure to leave the house
Give your partner, babysitter or grandma the opportunity to feed your baby without mom around.
Get them used to taking a bottle
Take advantage mama! Meet up with a friend, go shopping, girls night out!
Tip #2 Build a stash
Don’t get overwhelmed by what you see online with a bazzilion ounces stored in so and so’s freezer.
You really only need enough stash for the first day back at work. But it’s nice to have enough stored for around 2-3 days… just to have as a buffer. Just in case.
Most breastfed babies need an average of 25-30 oz in a 24 hour period. To be safe, divide 30 by the amount of time you’ll be away from your baby. If that’s 8 hours… you’ll need around 10 oz for your first day back. If it’s 10 hours, you’ll need around 15 oz.
You’re probably wondering how to build a stash while you’re still breastfeeding your baby… you’ll want to checkout my video how to build a breastmilk stash before going back to work here.
Everyday after that, you’ll be using the milk you pumped the day before while at work.
Tip #3 Create your pumping schedule, and stick to it
You’ll want to set your pumping schedule at work, to align with the times your baby would normally feed at home.
For example. When I went back to work with my daughter Allie, she ate around three times during the 10 hour period I was gone… 9am… 1pm… 4pm. So I pumped at 9am, 1pm and 4pm… every single day, the same time.
This allowed my milk supply to stay on schedule so when I was home with her on the weekends, we were back to our normal nursing schedule.
I know this can be hard, but you can do it.
Tip #4 Bring reminder to help keep your milk supply up
Pumping is so different than breastfeeding… where you’re actually latching your baby’s mouth to your breast. Lots of women find it hard to react the same to a pump as they would to their baby. Having a hard time getting a let down during pump sessions
Make sure to have videos and pictures of your babe laughing, crying, giggling, cooing and playing on your phone that you can watch while pumping.
You might even want to try bringing a piece of your babies clothing to help trigger a let down.
Tip #5 Know your rights!
Educate yourself on your federal and state laws that protect your rights so you can stand up for yourself if your rights aren’t being respected.
Employers in the US are required to provide breastfeeding moms with a private place to pump (that is not a bathroom).
They also must provide you with reasonable break time to pump for up to one year after the birth of your baby.
Many states also have additional laws and protections related to breastfeeding and working moms.
Tip #6 Keep your supplies all together
Breast pump and all its parts
A small cooler
Extra bottles or storage bags
And ice pack
A large bag to carry it all in
Having a bag or backpack to keep everything together is crucial and makes it SO much easier. Everything is always there and all in one place.
Tip #7 Store your freshly pumped breast milk in small cooler with an ice pack
After each pump session, combine both bottles of milk into a single bottle, or store into ziploc storage bags.
Place them in a small cooler that has an ice pack in it. You can keep this in your pumping bag all day and just keep adding each sessions pumped milk into it.
The ice pack and cooler will keep it cold enough for the entire day until you get home.
Tip #8 unpack and repack as soon as you get home
You’ll want to unpack everything as soon as you get home. This was you don’t forget and just get it done for the night.
Pour your milk into storage bags… make sure to label them with the date and how many ounces and store them in the fridge until your baby needs them the next day.
I always liked to use the fresh milk freshly pumped from the day before rather than taking from my freezer stash.
You should be washing all your active pump parts after every pump session at work, so when you get home all you’ll have to do is clean out the bottles you used to store the milk, wipe them down, and put them back in your bag for work tomorrow.
Make sure to put your ice pack back in the freezer so it can freeze again before tomorrow.
Well that’s it! Those are all my tips for pumping and going back to work. If you have any other pumping at work tips… please feel free to add them in the comment section below. I’d love to read them!