Pumping for my son from the day he was born was a MUST! I decided months before that I would do everything in my power to give him ONLY breast milk. I knew it was the best thing that I could do for him. But honestly, it was also a wise economic decision. Have you seen the price of formula these days?
I knew that once I went back to work I would need a game plan. I needed to gather my pumping essentials for work. As well as plan out my days to fit in my pumping breaks and still be able to complete my work.
Going back to work
I went back to work when my son, Christopher, was 4 months old. I had a small stash of milk in my freezer but I needed to pump 3 times during the workday to be able to keep up with my son’s needs. I was very fortunate to work for an employer that was more than understanding and accommodating to my situation. They had never employed anyone that needed to pump and It was all very new for them.
Before I continue, I wanted to make sure that everyone was aware of the STATE LAW regarding breastfeeding:
Effective March 23, 2010 the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act amended Section 7 of the Labor Standards Act to require employers to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child. Employers are also required to provide a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.
The best advice that I could give is to invest in a pump that is both comfortable and convenient for you! I’ve always had 3 pumps. One was a backup. Another was a single pump that I used when I was breastfeeding so that I could catch milk from the other breast. The third one was my main pump used for work and late night pumps.
The pump I used for work was a Philips Avent Double Electric Pump. I loved how small yet powerful it was. I was also my favorite color so that was a plus. It came with a convenient carry bag that had enough room for all my pumping essentials. My hands-free bra (I actually wore it from my 1st pumping session to my last and thew in my bag at the end of the day), extra Avent bottles, and a few Avent milk storage bags for the days I pumped way to much.
A Quiet Space
As previously mentioned, I was very blessed to work for a company that was accommodating. I was provided with an office, which I could lock. It’s very important that you feel comfortable or else you won’t be able to produce as much milk. Trust me!! When pumping peace and tranquility is key.
What I personally did was hook up my pump to my hands-free bra, I put on some Netflix/Hulu and pumped for a good 15 minutes.
Never Give Up
Pumping can be very time-consuming and it can be very stressful as well. The most important thing to remember is never to give up. So cliché I know but its true. I was on a strict schedule pumping in the morning before leaving for work, 3 times at work, as soon as I got home, after dinner, and right before bed. ON TOP of everything that I had to do. At the end of the day, I was exhausted.
Fortunately, I was able to pump until about 10 months of age. Then life happened and I went thru a rough patch (whole other story). My milk supply decreased because of stress and even tho I tried many different things to increase my supply nothing worked.
By this time I was pumping about 6 oz a day which is practically nothing in Christopher land. From 10-12 months he was on Similac Advance Early Shield Baby Formula – a ready to feed formula. On his first birthday, I switched him to whole milk.
If I could go back in time, Pumping would still be a priority. Pumping not only saved me a lot of money but I was able to feed my son my milk. It allowed us to bond on a deeper level.
Are you a pumping mom? What essentials helped you? Any funny stories? Comment below – I’d love to know!