Before you begin your pumping adventure at work, sit down with your employer, Human Resources department and any affected coworker to discuss your pumping needs and schedule. It is important that you know your rights as a pumping Mother (click HERE) and welcome an open dialogue with your colleagues regarding your pumping arrangements.
1. Hang a Do Not Disturb sign & LOCK the door. Here’s a cute one designed by one of my favorite breastfeeding Mamas.
2. Relax! Although your pump can’t sense stress like your nursling can, your letdown & output will be effected by your comfort level.
3. Stimulate your senses. Surround yourself with pictures of your baby, watch videos and inhale that sweet baby smell from a piece of your baby’s clothing or one of their blankets.
4. Wear pumping suitable attire. You don’t want to have to sit in your pumping space with your dress up over your head, half-naked! You may even want to consider investing in some nursing tops and a pumping bra.
5. Have backup! Keep an extra battery +/or a manual pump in your desk in case of a power outage or forgotten part.
6. Pump as often as you would nurse. If your children are anything like mine, that could mean all day, every day; but the general rule of thumb is every 2-3 hours for 15-20 minutes at a time.
7. Two words…mini fridge! Although a large communal fridge works too, if you have the power & the space right there, minis are super convenient. If you’re looking to save time, just toss your pump parts in a bag & store them in the fridge between sessions. Just make sure you wash them thoroughly when you get home each night.
Pumping at work isn’t nearly as enjoyable as staring longingly at your nursling as they drift off into a milky sleep, BUT we ARE so, so fortunate to live in an age where we have laws that protect & assure us the time & space needed to provide breastmilk for our children while at work.