Navigating the Transition

Pumping Success for the Working Mother

Returning to work after welcoming a new baby is a huge transition.

It's met with mixed emotions and you're not alone if you're feeling both a little excited and overwhelmed.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 57% of mamas with infants under the age of one are part of the workforce. Highlighting the reality that many new mamas are navigating the balance between their professional responsibilities and their commitment to breastfeeding.

You probably already know the importance of breastfeeding...but you might not realize that breastfeeding is recommended exclusively for the first six months by the World Health Organization. However, the transition back to work can present challenges, especially when it comes to pumping...

As a mama who has gone back to work three different times...Here are five effective tips to help you collect milk while still maintaining your breastfeeding goals:

1. Know Your Rights

Laws are in place to support breastfeeding mothers. Employers are required to provide a private space (that is not a bathroom) for milk expression and reasonable break times. Familiarize yourself with your state rights and discuss your needs with your employer before returning to work.

2. Create a Pumping Schedule

Consistency is key.

Aim to pump at the same times you would normally feed your baby. This helps maintain your milk supply by mimicking your baby's natural feeding schedule. Most women find they need to pump every 3-4 hours during an 8-hour workday. Remember, regularity signals your body to produce milk at consistent intervals.

3. Invest in a Quality Breast Pump (hands-free recommended)

A high-quality, efficient breast pump is crucial here. Consider a hands-free model for added convenience. Many insurance plans now cover the cost of breast pumps, so explore your options. 

Pro-tip: Pump at your desk with a Cocoon. Countless mamas have been using the Cocoon to pump without having to leave their desk, meeting, or lunch. Check out this video a mama created at work using the Cocoon.

4. Store Milk Safely

Understanding proper milk storage guidelines ensures that your hard-earned milk remains safe for your baby. Use clean, BPA-free containers or storage bags designed for breast milk. Label each container with the date pumped, and follow the "first in, first out" principle to use the oldest milk first.

5. Stay Hydrated and Nourished

Your body needs extra hydration and nutrition to produce milk. Keep a water bottle and healthy snacks at your pumping station. Foods rich in protein, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids can support milk production and overall health. We also highly a lactation tea to help support milk supply.

Embrace Support

Transitioning back to work is a journey that requires support, patience, and resilience.

Connect with a lactation consultant, join a breastfeeding support group, or find a community of working mamas (Facebook has many!) who can share their experiences and tips. Remember, every drop of milk you provide is a precious gift to your baby, and planning and preparation can make pumping at work a successful part of your breastfeeding journey.

As you navigate this transition, remember you're not just a working mother; you're a provider, nurturer, and an incredible source of love and strength for your baby. With the right preparation and support, you can continue to provide for your family in every sense of the word.

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