Pumping and Storing Breastmilk
I plan to pump my breastmilk when I return to work. Do you have some tips?
It’s great that you’ve decided to keep breastfeeding when you return to work! At first you may find that it’s a challenge, but once you get into a routine, pumping at work will become much easier. And the benefits of breastmilk for your baby are worth the extra effort and time.
Here are some helpful hints:
- Find a quiet place. A quiet, relaxed environment will encourage your milk ejection reflex (let-down). Restrooms are typically not appropriate for pumping breastmilk because they lack the privacy, cleanliness, and electrical outlets you need. Before you return to work, check that there is a designated place that meets your needs, and if there isn’t one, request that a suitable space be made available.
- Envision your baby. Think of your baby when pumping. Look at her picture. Some women bring small items of their babies’ clothing to touch and smell to encourage the milk ejection reflex.
- Drink liquids. Have a glass of water or juice nearby as you pump. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and keep nutritious snacks, such as trail mix or similar high-protein foods, at your desk.
- Dress for pumping. Plan your working wardrobe with pumping in mind. Front-buttoning blouses will be easiest for pumping. Prints and light colors will help camouflage milk stains. Wear nursing pads that are absorbent and ventilate well.
Don’t be discouraged by employees or your employer. Stay with it and remember that you’re providing a health benefit for your baby, yourself, and your employer. Breastfeeding decreases the incidence of illnesses and may reduce maternal absenteeism.
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