April 26, 2023 by Marjorie R. Rogers, MA (English), Certified Consultant
Breastfeeding has long been considered the gold standard for infant nutrition, with numerous studies demonstrating its numerous benefits for both mother and baby. However, for working moms, maintaining a consistent breastfeeding routine can be challenging. Breast pump offers a solution, allowing women to provide their infants with the optimal nutrition they need while juggling a demanding career. In this article, we will discuss the importance of breast pumping for working moms and offer practical tips on how to make it work.
The Importance of Breast Pumping for Working Moms
Maintaining Breast Milk Supply
Breast milk production is a demand-driven process. When a mother breastfeeds her baby, the removal of milk from her breasts stimulates the production of more milk. For working moms, time away from their babies can lead to a decrease in milk supply. Breast pumping allows mothers to maintain their milk production by expressing milk while they’re away from their baby.
Continued Breastfeeding Benefits
Breast milk provides optimal nutrition for infants, containing all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and antibodies that help babies grow and develop a robust immune system. Breast pumping enables working moms to continue providing their babies with breast milk, even when they are not physically present to nurse.
Breastfeeding is not only about nutrition; it also promotes bonding between mother and baby. Expressing breast milk and using it for bottle feeding can help maintain this bond even when mothers are at work.
Formula feeding can be costly, with expenses adding up over time. Breastfeeding, on the other hand, is a cost-effective way to provide nutrition for your baby. Pumping breast milk can help working moms save money while still ensuring their baby receives the best possible nutrition.
Health Benefits for Moms
Breastfeeding has been shown to have several long-term health benefits for mothers, including reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and postpartum depression. Breast pumping allows working moms to continue reaping these benefits even as they return to work.
How to Make Breast Pumping Work for Working Moms
Choose the Right Breast Pump
There are various types of breast pumps available on the market, including manual breast pumps, battery-operated, and electric pumps. It’s essential to choose a pump that suits your individual needs and preferences. Consider factors such as pumping efficiency, portability, and noise level when making your decision.
Establish a Pumping Schedule
To maintain your milk supply, it’s crucial to establish a consistent pumping schedule. Try to pump at the same times you would usually breastfeed your baby. Many working moms find it helpful to pump every two to three hours while at work.
Create a Comfortable Pumping Space
Find a private, comfortable space where you can pump without interruptions. Ensure the area is clean and has access to an electrical outlet if using an electric pump. Some workplaces provide designated lactation rooms, so be sure to check if your workplace offers such a facility.
Store Breast Milk Safely
Proper storage of expressed breast milk is essential to ensure its quality and safety for your baby. Use clean, BPA-free bottles or breast milk storage bags, and label them with the date and time of expression. Refrigerate or freeze the milk promptly, following guidelines for breast milk storage.
Communicate with Your Employer
Open communication with your employer is vital to make breast pumping work at your workplace. Discuss your needs, and ask about any accommodations or policies in place for nursing mothers. Familiarize yourself with your legal rights as a breastfeeding employee, as certain jurisdictions have specific laws protecting nursing mothers in the workplace.
Plan for Bottle Feeding
As your baby will be bottle-fed with expressed breast milk during your working hours, it’s essential to prepare for this transition. Introduce your baby to bottle-feeding a few weeks before you return to work, allowing them time to get used to the change. Ensure that your caregiver understands how to handle and store breast milk and is comfortable with bottle-feeding techniques.
Stay Hydrated and Maintain a Healthy Diet
Breast milk production requires adequate hydration and a balanced diet. Ensure that you drink plenty of water throughout the day and maintain a nutrient-rich diet to support your milk supply. Consuming an extra 300-500 calories per day while breastfeeding can also help maintain your energy levels and support milk production.
Breast pumping and managing work-life balance can be challenging for many working moms. Don’t hesitate to seek support from your partner, family, friends, or a lactation consultant. Online forums and local support groups can also be valuable resources to connect with other working moms experiencing similar challenges.
Be Patient and Flexible
It may take some time to adjust to your new routine as a working mom who pumps breast milk. Be patient with yourself, and don’t hesitate to make adjustments to your pumping schedule or strategy as needed. Remember that every mother’s experience is unique, and finding what works best for you and your baby is most important.
Celebrate Your Success
Breast pumping as a working mom is an accomplishment worth celebrating. Take the time to acknowledge your dedication and the effort you’re putting into providing your baby with the best possible nutrition while balancing your career. Your commitment to your baby’s health and well-being is commendable, and you deserve recognition for your hard work.
Breast pumping is a valuable tool for working moms, allowing them to continue providing their babies with the numerous benefits of breast milk while pursuing their careers. With the right breast pump, a supportive workplace, and a well-planned pumping routine, working moms can successfully navigate the challenges of breastfeeding and maintain a strong bond with their babies. By seeking support, staying patient, and celebrating their achievements, working moms can make breast pumping an integral part of their journey as both a parent and a professional.
About Author (Marjorie R. Rogers)
The inspiring mum of 6 who dedicates her time to supporting others. While battling with her own demons she continues to be the voice for others unable to speak out. Mental illness almost destroyed her, yet here she is fighting back and teaching you all the things she has learned along the way. Get Started To Read …