Breastfeeding is one of the greatest gifts a mum can give her baby. It is all your little one needs for growth and development for the first six months. It can also protect them from illness and disease.
While mothers reap more benefits the longer they breastfeed, it becomes challenging once a working mum returns to work. If you’ve committed to breastfeeding, here are some important tips to remember so you can manage your pumping schedule without affecting your responsibilities in the office (and your milk supply!).
Talk to your employer.
According to the Australian Breastfeeding Association, it is generally against the law to refuse to make arrangements for you to breastfeed at work. Before returning to the office, however, it is advisable to contact your manager or HR department to discuss your needs.
One of the items you should negotiate is to have one or two lactation breaks so you can express milk. These breaks should also provide you with ample time to label and store the milk, clean your pumping equipment, and walk back to your workspace.
You can also request a private space where you can pump comfortably. Some workplaces might not have a dedicated room for expressing or breastfeeding, so you can ask if there is a shared space, like an unused office or meeting room, that you can use. It will also help if you have access to a fridge where you can place a cooler bag filled with your milk stash.
Invest in an effective breast pump.
As you’ll be expressing milk several times at work, a hospital grade pump might be best for you. A lightweight, electric breast pump like the Eonian Care Smart Double Electric Breast Pump allows simultaneous pumping, which may even boost your milk supply. It comes with a neck strap so you can go hands-free and do other tasks while you pump. It’s also super quiet, so you won’t have to worry about disturbing colleagues while you build your milk stash.
Ready your workwear.
It is important to plan and see which clothes allow you to move and express milk comfortably. You might also want to invest in a pumping and nursing bra, so you can easily switch to your pump and make the most of your lactation break.
The Eonian care Hands-Free Pumping & Nursing Bra conveniently goes from normal to nursing bra with a simple click of a clip. Pair it with the Eonian Care Breast Milk Collector Nipple Shield and pump discreetly – both are invisible under clothing and can securely hold your pump flanges. It also prevents breast milk wastage, so you can maintain a steady supply for your baby even as you work all day.
Secure your equipment.
Expressing milk at work involves other practical considerations, including the tools you’ll need to secure your milk stash. Apart from your breast pump, you will also need the following:
- Milk bags
- Collection bottles
- A cooler bag with ice bricks for transporting expressed milk at home
Talk to your colleagues.
Let them know of your decision to pump at work. Communication and coordination are essential and will ensure that your work responsibilities do not interfere with your pumping goals and vice versa. This will also remove unnecessary stress, which can affect and lower your milk supply.
Be kind to yourself.
Returning to the job you love is fulfilling, but it can also make you experience mum guilt as you will be separated from your baby. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you miss a pumping session, and do not worry that your milk supply will suffer.
Preparing to leave your baby is hard enough without the pressure to fill all of your milk bags. Instead, arm yourself with the right tools – Eonian Care’s smart baby solutions can help give you the support you need to make your breastfeeding journey a success – even when you’re already back at work.