Women have been pumping breast milk since the 1500s. But recent advances in technology and the fact that many women now leave their homes to work led to the practice becoming much easier and more common nowadays.
If you need to pump outside or in public, portable pumps such as the Spectra S9 can be quite handy.
Pumps like this one don’t need to be always plugged in yet still have a strong suction power to handle double pumping tasks. But if your batteries run out, you can always plug the device into the wall.
Going Back To Work While Breastfeeding
If you’re breastfeeding but need to go back to work, you’ll need a reliable but discreet breast pump. You don’t have to quit breastfeeding just because you’ll be away from your baby for several hours.
What’s important is for you to plan ahead, so you can return to work while also meeting your baby’s breastfeeding needs.
Establish Your Milk Supply
You might discover that it’s a lot easier to achieve a letdown when your baby is around. So, it would be harder to pump at work or away from your baby if you haven’t established your milk supply.
Take breastfeeding classes or talk to a lactation consultant so you can achieve that before you go back to work.
Know Your Rights And Privileges At Work
Did you know that you’re entitled to a reasonable nursing break to express milk at work under federal law? It’s a privilege extended for moms up to one year after their baby’s birth.
You’re also allowed to take multiple breaks, following the schedule of your baby’s feeding times.
You’ll likely need to breastfeed every two to three hours during the first few months after birth. Since your baby isn’t with you at work, you may be allowed to pump with this frequency. But the time between feedings is likely to be longer as your baby grows.
While you’re entitled to the break, you can also adjust your schedule or the time you go to work if you need to pump more often. You could also time your pumping during regular breaks, such as lunch breaks, so that it won’t affect your productivity but still allow you to pump as much milk as you can while at work.
Under the same federal law, companies must also provide nursing moms like you with a functional, safe, and private place to express milk. Talk with your boss or find out about your company’s lactation support program for employees.
If there’s none, talk about it with your employer’s human resources office or supervisor. They may be able to assist you, especially because you’re entitled to this nursing break.
Choose the Right Breast Pump
The right breast pump can let you express milk faster. Of course, your level of comfort can also matter in achieving a letdown. But having the right gadget can let you collect the milk as quickly as possible so you can go back to work.
Portable breast pumps like the Spectra S9 are designed for pumping on the go. They have batteries, are light enough (the Spectra S9 weighs just 0.5 lbs), and may still be powerful enough to function as a double pump.
Pumping time varies, but you might need around 10 to 20 minutes. You might even need up to 30 minutes.
A double electric breast pump is your ideal choice because time is essential while pumping at work or anywhere in public. It might also be wise to bring extra batteries as a backup.
Pumping In Public Places
If you’re out in public places, such as at the mall or a restaurant, you might not find a quiet or private place for pumping.
Wearable pumps are quite useful in these situations because you can pump discreetly even if you’re in a public place. All you have to do is set the pump up and it will collect milk into the built-in container beneath your clothes.
But if you don’t have a wearable pump, a portable pump can still work. You can use a shawl or cover up if there’s no private room for you to pump.
Storing & Transporting Your Breast Milk
Breast milk is considered food, so it may be kept in the company pantry fridge if there’s one. Make sure that you avoid contamination by placing the pumped milk in food-safe containers.
It might be a good idea to label your container so that other curious workers won’t open the pack.
If there’s no company fridge, you can bring a cooler with ice packs to store your pumped milk. A cooler bag with ice packs can be a handy option, especially since you’ll also need to transport your breast milk back home.
A note of caution if you work in a medical facility: never store your collected breast milk in a fridge where medical specimens are kept.
You should also make sure to label the milk container with your name, plus the date and time you collected it.
Breastfeeding and pumping can provide your baby with enough nutrition needed for growth. Don’t be shy about breast pumping, even if you have to go back to work or do it in public.