Pumping is one of the weirdest things I have ever done. It is such a strange thing to “milk yourself” in a windowless office between meetings or next door to the HR person’s office. Mothers’ milk is one of the best things on the planet, so it is worth feeling a little weird from time to time, right? It is so so good for babies and making it is so good for mothers. The benefits of breast milk are widely reported and well understood BUT the benefits of milk production should be considered as people look forward to having kids. Real quick, here are a couple of reasons why:
Breast feeding is a pretty good method of birth control. Check out this article from the World Health Organization. It also staves off certain cancers and reduces postpartum depression. It is associated with weight loss after birth and helps the uterus return to normal size. WOOOHOOO
So now you might be interested in how pumping fits into the picture. I know there are a lot of moms who don’t bother with it, but I think it is easy and well worth the time and energy. These tips should be able to help any mom pump until it is a healthy time to stop.
- Schedule your time to pump as often as you can. When I arrive to work, I try to pump right away. This way I know that I am starting from a “regular” starting time. For me, I pump at around 8:15 until 8:30. It is technically before my workday begins, so I am “off the clock” when I get my body ready for the day. I have regular scheduled times from 10:30-11:45, 1-1:15, and 3:30-3:45 that I always make myself pump. This way, I am able to maximize the number of pumps in the day. If I chose to only pump at noon, I wouldn’t produce as much milk and I would be really full waiting to pump by the time I left work. This staggered schedule keeps my body working at producing milk and it becomes regular for my body to make it everyday.
- Ensure that you are eating and drinking enough. It is really easy for me to forget to drink water during my workday. I have to tell myself to drink often as there is a direct correlation between how much you drink and how much you pump. Eating is so important, too. Make sure to stay on top of it. If you see that you aren’t producing much in the morning pump, down a couple of glasses of water and your noon pump should be better.
- Think about your wardrobe. I haven’t worn a dress to work since I was pregnant. It is just too weird to try to pump in a dress. It is easy to pump quickly if you are wearing a two piece outfit. It is still possible to do if you are wearing a dress, but like I said, there is something sort of strange about pumping in a sterile office room anyway. Whatever floats your boat. But wear clothes that make sense for you.
- You don’t have to wash your pumping supplies every single time you pump. Some people like doing dishes. I am not one of them. I am not trying to be doing dishes and clean parts multiple times everyday. So what I do is take that little cooler that comes with many pumping kits ( I use Medela) and store the parts in there along with the milk I produce. I pump directly into storage bags so there is plenty of room in the case for me to pump all day and never have to clean between sessions. It is the best time-saver I could think of.
- Commit to it. It becomes just a normal part of your day. I promise you. No one thinks twice about it in the office. In fact, for the people in the office that do notice it… they respect it. It is a win-win. The sacrifices are small for huge gains.
Do you have any other tips? How long did you do it for? Did you donate any extra? Let me know! Be sure to check out my post on hacking pumping,too!
Also read my My post “for the back-to-work mom: thriving once you return” !
I’d love to meet you on twitter here.
If you liked the post, share it on Facebook or Pin it below! Or leave a comment! I would love to hear your thoughts!