Our Essential Guide To Returning To Work While Still Breastfeeding

Our Essential Guide To Returning To Work While Still Breastfeeding - Mother Pumper - Breast pump - Titty City Design

"How does breastfeeding at work actually work?"

If you’re a breastfeeding mama and your maternity leave is coming to an end, then you might have this big question racing around and around in your mind.

If this is you, then we feel you mama.

You’re probably anxious about whether it’s possible to continue breastfeeding after returning to work. After all, you don’t want to stop nursing your Boobie monster and the good news is – you don’t have to. 

Continuing to breastfeed by pumping at work is 100% possible, and although it can be a little tricky to get used to, there is absolutely no way you have to quit Boobing just because you’re headed back to the office. And in this post, we’ll give you our best tips for making your return to work as smooth as your gorgeous baby’s booty!

Is there a breastfeeding and returning to work law?

First thing’s first mama, you need to know your rights about breastfeeding at work. Because you have them!

Since 2010, there has been a federal Break Time for Nursing Mother’s law. This breastfeeding at work policy is a law that requires employers to provide not just reasonable break time for moms who need to nurse, but a private place to allow them to pump at work. Oh, and btw, that private place can’t be a bathroom!

This pumping at work law means that you don’t have to worry about stopping breastfeeding. You can pump as often as your supply needs in a private space. 

If you’re not covered by federal law, then please don’t worry mama. Just get in touch with your state or local breastfeeding coalition to find out if your rights are covered by state law

Our must-read guide for breastfeeding at work

Ok.

So now you know you’re legally covered to continue breastfeeding by pumping at work, it’s time to get pumped up (gotta love a Boobie pun) and prepare yourself for continuing your breastfeeding journey while returning to kick ass at work.

Just follow our essential guide to breastfeeding at work and you’ll have all the confidence and info you need to keep making that liquid gold.

    #1 Be prepared

    We know going back to work and leaving your precious milky bundle is a huge deal. And you’re probably feeling anxious, nervous, and a little (or a lot) sad to be having some time apart from your baby.

    Hugs for you mama. It is going to be okay.

    That’s why being prepared is crucial to make this a smooth transition. For you and your babe.

    Before going back to work, take the time to consider your working options. Speak to your employer about these possibilities:

    • Working remotely
    • Having flexible hours (to leave the office to feed the baby during the day or having the baby brought to you)
    • Switching to part-time
    • Job sharing with another employee
    • Reducing hours
    • Starting back gradually 

    The thought of speaking to your employer about this is probably filling you with dread, but having an open and clear discussion will help with your plans. You’ve got this mama.

    You also need to establish where your baby will be when you go back to work. Will a relative be helping? Your partner? Daycare? Or maybe a combination? Whatever it is, you need to make sure you’re comfortable with the plan, and have a few run-through days or settling in days before you go back to work.

    If possible, try to schedule your first day back on a Thursday or Friday to help your transition back to work.

    #2 Build a stash

    Get yourself and your baby ready for having some time apart by building a stash of milk before you start back at work.

    Do not stress, you truly only need enough milk to get your baby through the day. To help prepare start pumping a couple of weeks before returning to the office, and make sure you continue nursing at the same time. 

    You will get the most milk right after the first feed of the morning. So once bebe is done with their first feeding, start pumping. Pump again at night before you go to sleep.

    Store your milk in the fridge or freezer (depending on when you want to use it) and try to always have about 2 days to a week’s worth of milk to hand. It’s also a good idea to get your baby comfortable with using a bottle or cup so they can have your milk while you’re at work. 

    #3 Plan your return

    Now you know how you’ll return to work, it’s time to start planning.

    If you can, speak to your boss about starting back at work in the middle of the week, rather than at the beginning. This gentle start means you only have to do 2-3 days before the weekend, giving you time to balance and adjust to your new routine of breastfeeding at work and childcare. You’re likely to feel tired and overwhelmed, so having the weekend just a couple of days away should definitely help.

    On those first few days, plan ahead to give yourself some extra time in the morning. You don’t want to be rushed. Grab a few extra nursing and cuddle sessions, plan your outfit, and take things slow and steady. If possible, plan to nurse your baby at drop-off and pick-up so you don’t have to feel rushed to get home. 

    #4 Feel comfortable with your workplace

    Before going back to work, speak to your employer and see if it’s OK to come in for a few hours to refamiliarize yourself with the office. You can also ask to see the area where you’ll be allowed to have your pumping breaks. 

    Make sure you know where the fridge is, so you can store your pumped milk safely and securely. You’re allowed to have as many pumping sessions as you need, so being comfortable and familiar with your surroundings should help with the transition.

    #5 Have all of your equipment ready

    A couple of days before you start work, take some time to make sure you have all the equipment you need to breastfeed at work. 

    Make a checklist and tick things off as you go:

    • Breast pump and kit
    • Breastmilk containers
    • An insulated bag and ice packs for transporting your milk home
    • A supply of breast pads
    • A photo or videos of your baby to help relax you as you start pumping

    If you’ll be pumping for the first time then try your pump out well in advance of going back to work. Make sure you’re comfortable with it and understand exactly how it works. Get familiar with how much milk you produce during a session and how long it takes.

    It’s also a good idea to wear clothes that are comfortable and provide easy access for pumping. Nursing bras and tops, button-down shirts and dresses, overalls, wrap dresses and cardigans are all great options.

    #6 Make a pumping schedule

    It might help keep you calm by creating a pumping schedule, and sticking to it. This is one of our favorite pumping tips and tricks for returning to work. Think about all the times your baby nurses and create a schedule around those times.

    You’re allowed to take as many pumping breaks as you need, so if your baby usually nurses 8 times a day, then pump 8 times a day! As your baby gets older and their feeding pattern changes, or if you want to spend a little less time pumping, then you can adjust your schedule as you see fit. 

    When you’re back with your baby and on your days off, nurse that little Boobie monster as often as they want it. This will help maintain your supply. If you think your supply has lessened since starting at work (don’t worry –  the pump isn’t always a good indicator of how much milk you’re making), then spend some extra time breastfeeding.

    #7 Ask for advice

    One of the best things you can do to give yourself peace of mind before returning to the office and pumping at work is to ask the advice of women who have gone before you.

    Trust us. There is a whole sisterhood out there of amazing mamas who work and breastfeed and have the experience of pumping at work. There might even be mothers in your workplace who have experienced what you are going through. Speak to them about it. Get their best pumping tips and tricks. And know that you are not alone. 

    #8 Take things one day at a time

    This is a brand new experience – for you and your baby. And you don’t have to get it right or get it perfect straight away.

    You need to learn to adapt to this lifestyle change, and that takes time. Never be afraid to reach out and ask for help or advice from midwives, lactation consultants, or other moms who have successfully returned to work while breastfeeding. 

    I'm so proud of you Mama

    We know how hard it is to think about returning to work after having a baby. And if you’re nursing then it can make things even harder.

    Just know, it gets easier.

    Understanding your rights, preparing your mind, and adapting your routine will all help make the transition to work so much smoother.  Remember to reach out to support groups and ask for help whenever you need it. Whether it’s from a professional breastfeeding consultant or your Breast Friend.

    You’ve got this mama. And we’re here for you every step of the way!

     

     

    At Titty City Design, we believe that every boobie is beautiful, and that should be celebrated. We are a female owned and operated, small business here to spread self love and body positivity with our line of products for the home. A portion of our proceeds go to help support postpartum women and breast cancer patients.

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    Breastfeeding Milk Goddess

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