Adalyn is exclusively breastfed and I knew that when I went back to work, I wanted to continue this. I read a lot about pumping since it is something that of course, I had never done before. I have been pumping at work for 3 weeks now and it is going extremely well!
Here are my tips for pumping at work:
-Use a good pump- I have co-workers who say that they have supply issues related to using an old pump or one that is not good enough. I have had great success with the Medela Pump In-Style and the Freestyle. I keep one at work and one at home for convenience. I highly recommend a double pump to save time.
-Eat foods that promote lactation- Most days of the week, I eat oatmeal with flax which can help to increase your milk supply. I also drink Mother's Milk tea on occasion.
-Drink tons of fluid- Since coming back to work, I now have more time to focus on fluids (than when I was taking care of a newborn during the whole day). I carry around a 32 oz water bottle which I refill a few times per day along with 1 mug of coffee and decaf teas.
-Pump when you would feed your baby- If your baby receives a bottle at say 9 AM, 12 PM and 3 PM, pump at about those same times. I pump twice per day at work at this time and each session takes about 10 minutes.
-Use micro-steam bags- I really like the Medela Quick Clean Micro-steam bags to clean my pump parts. I do this one time per day after my second pumping session. It only takes 3 minutes in the microwave which is awesome!
-Start pumping early- I started pumping when Adalyn was 1 1/2 weeks old one time per day. My lactation consultant told me that you have the most milk in the morning so I would pump an hour after Adalyn's first feeding of the morning. I think that this helped to build up my supply and got me used to pumping.
-Have enough supplies- Right after I got my pump, I went and purchased a bunch of extra supplies so that I would never be short. Something that I like to have a lot of on hand is the pumping bottles. I have about 15 of them so that I can have them in the fridge full, have some at home and some at work for whenever I need them. I purchased some on Amazon and from another mom on a Facebook swap site for about $1 each.
-Get things ready the night before- Each night, I make sure that Adalyn's bottles are ready for the next day and that I have clean, empty bottles ready to go to work. This makes the mornings simpler which I like. Since I have two pumps, I do not have to worry about bringing one to work each day. If you can do this, I highly recommend it.
-Other beneficial products- I currently do not use a hands free pumping bra (the pump parts just kind of stay in my bra without issue but I have heard from many pumping moms that these are awesome to have. I have used one a couple of times but never really understood if you are supposed to wear it with another bra or wear it all day, etc. Storage bags are great for freezing the breast milk. I label and date these and throw them in the freezer.
In the beginning of breastfeeding, I had some pain issues and liked different lanolin creams. Now, I do not use them too often. Also, especially in the beginning, nursing pads can be very beneficial. Since about 6 weeks, I no longer need these.
-Many women complain that their milk supply drops when they begin work. I do not have this issue so I cannot give tips on it but please, talk to a lactation consultant if you have this issue. Do not give up on breastfeeding! Some people say that if they look at a picture of their baby, etc., it can help with the milk flow.
If you have any breastfeeding questions, feel free to ask me! I know that I looked to other bloggers for advice and am happy to share what I have learned so far.
A special thanks to Medela for providing me with some extra pumping products. Before I received these, I was already using most of the Medela products and honestly think that they are awesome.