If you’re planning to pump breastmilk at work, a little advance preparation goes a long way. Here are our top tips for pumping at work and on the go.
Here’s a list of common items you may need to get started:
Your breast pump will come with several standard parts, and the flange, or shield, is the part that goes around your nipple to gently pull the milk out. If your pump only comes with one size of flange, you may not even realize that there are other sizes available! Using an incorrect flange size for your body may result in discomfort, pain, and reduced amounts of expressed milk. Your breast pump manufacturer may sell different sizes flanges, so we recommend measuring yourself to find the correct size for your body, or trying a few sizes to determine what works best for you.
If you have a typical breastfeeding schedule, pumping during those same times will help your body stay in a natural rhythm. Your body may not express milk as easily during pumping as when you breastfeed. If that’s not possible at work, or if you’re an exclusive pumper, try to develop and maintain a pumping schedule every day.
There are several things you can do before you deliver— and understanding your rights and knowing your employer’s policies on pumping are helpful. Your right to pump at work is protected by law.
Pumping can be hard. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. For some women, pumping is successful, and for others, it can be an uphill battle. Talk to your Southdale provider if you find yourself struggling—whether physically, or emotionally. Returning to work can generate a lot of different emotions, and pumping may add on to that.
Many women find that their milk supply seems to drop after they return to work. Your healthcare provider or a lactation counselor can help you navigate any challenges that you experience. The most important thing is to know that you’re not alone in how you feel, and there is support and help when you need it.