Breastfeeding Working Mom: The REAL MVP
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First, I want to apologize for my lack of presence the last two weeks. Our little Baby Bear hit the four month sleep regression HARD…and stayed there for over a month. She also is now boycotting naps, which was previously Blogging time, so we are reformatting our day and trying time management in a whole new way! Anyhow, not that you care. I know, you’re only here for the Boobs, I get it.
So, nowadays the gold standard is breastfeeding. Which means, that if you are working woman, then you will also be a working Breastfeeding mom. Which sounds a lot easier than it actually is, and is a whole new way of living life. I will be honest with you here, I have been very lucky in my breastfeeding journey thus far with baby bear. However, my pumping journey has not been as easy-peasy; and I will admit, my situation is…well…unique.
I am a full-time mental health therapist, and I primarily see my clients in their homes. Which means I do a lot of driving. Which means OFFICE= MY CAR. On top of that, when I am in the office building, I do not have an actual office, so I have to fight the other 300 people who work at my agency for office space. That being said, I have been very lucky to have tremendously supportive coworkers and supervisor. My supervisor was also a breastfeeding mom, and has been extremely supportive and understanding. Which I’m very grateful for. However, it has still been challenging, and I am here to clear some things up for you.
The first thing you will need to do, set appropriate expectations. 1. You will not pump as much milk as you expect to. 2. Your breast milk supply will fluctuate with pumping sessions. 3. You will be seen by co-workers carrying pump parts throughout your building to find a place to clean them, and some will give you dirty looks. 4. You will have to store your breast milk in a company refrigerator; so be prepared to play lunchbox Tetris. 5. You will have to cut meeting short, schedule appropriately, and be open and honest with your coworkers about your time constraints. 6. Get ready to feel ridiculous, you’re going to be half naked in a place you never thought you would be, and TERRIFIED the creeper down the hall doesn’t “mistakenly” barge in on you. 7. You will need a bunch of stuff. Surprisingly, not just your boobs and pump….
THE. BEST. CLOTHING LINE. EVER. for nursing moms, specifically this shirt. I’m not a fan of “nursing tanks” or any of that crap. This clothing line is sold via consultants, almost like 31 Bags, or Avon, sans catalog. They have fantastic prints, flattering (to all sizes) styles, and comfortable fabric. I really like the Perfect Tee it is super flowy and covers the pump while I’m pumping! It’s also great when feeding baby, because it acts as a cover! Check out the website to find your local consultant. I’m sorry in advance for your new obsession! If this clothing line does not work for you, find something loose-fitting and comfortable to accommodate your pumping needs.
ESSENTIAL!! This bra allows you to pump hands free, giving you your appendages to do other things. Things like: paperwork, research, phone calls, Pinteresting, or stalking LuLaRoe consultants on Facebook looking for your unicorns!! #Guilty!! TIP: Don’t attempt to wear this as an actual bra….just trust me on this one.
You will need to drink copious amounts of water to maintain a healthy supply. I promise, if you drink water, you will be able to pump significantly more while you’re at work. Make sure your bottle is easily identifiable, just in case your mommy brain leaves it all over the place, your coworkers can return it to you! Make sure it holds plenty of water 24oz or more!
Sure, you can buy one of the Medela battery packs, or you could buy this thing. My company gave these to use to use since we are mobile 70% of the time to charge our phones and laptops. It is awesome! You don’t need to remember extra batteries or the extra cord or anything, I just leave this baby in my car and I am ready to pump in my car whenever I need to. Also, no more need to purchase “car chargers” for every new phone you get!
You will need LOTS of freezer bags to build up a good freezer supply and to keep the stuff you pump at work nice and fresh! I like these the most because they lay flat and have a double zipper seal so there is less likelihood of spillage. They also come pre-sterilized, which make me feel nice and safe using them. Plus, my husband says that these are easier to use than the Medela bags when he’s home with Baby Bear.
I know after a long day at work, some times I forget to clean and sanitize the bottles, so I like having plenty extra so if I forget I’m not running around in the morning trying to wash, sanitize and dry bottles before I leave for work.
I personally have not tried any of these pre-packaged lactation snacks, but have had some homemade ones and they are helpful and pretty tasty! I know plenty of women who really enjoy these and find them to be very helpful. You can try these cookies or you can try the Tea. I’ve heard that the cookies are tasty, but not as effective as the tea….which isn’t as tasty. But it can’t hurt to have a couple of these in your bag just in case you are having a tough supply day! There are also other foods you can try out that have been shown to increase milk supply, you can read more about this at Kellymom.com
I hope that you Breastfeeding Working Mom warriors found this post to be helpful, if you found anything else to be helpful or necessary in your journey please feel free to share here with us! I’m still fighting the good fight, so I’m always looking for new ways to make working and pumping easier!
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