pumping on the job

by Ally- Life as I know it, 5:00 AM
If you're a breastfeeding mom heading back to work soon and you're planning on continuing to EBF (exclusively breastfeed) your baby, then you gotta pump. I know, I hate pumping too. It's awkward, uncomfortable, and you feel like a cow being milked. But if you don't do it then your supply will drop pretty quickly and you'll end up with engorged, painful, leaking boobs all day. Not fun. A few weeks before I went back to work I started to do some research on the laws of pumping at work. There's a federal law since 2010 called the "Break Time for Nursing Mothers Law" that requires your workplace to allow you a reasonable amount of time to pump and a private space other than a bathroom. This makes me laugh because you know what I was offered when I told my new boss I would need to pump? The bathroom. I was kind of taken aback when she showed me my "pumping quarters" during orientation but since I was the new kid on the block and needing to take frequent breaks to pump I kept my mouth shut. I work at a very small surgery center that is running out of room for everything. There isn't even a doctor's lounge. It really is the only private place. There's been a few girls at my job who have used the bathroom to pump as well and they had no issues. It is a private bathroom that is rarely used but still, not the cleanest place. I always make sure my parts don't touch anything and I keep my hands clean. I pumped in my car for my first week so I didn't have to lug all my stuff in but that got old real quick. 

So hopefully you'll have some better scenery at your job when you go to pump. The key thing to pumping at work is your supplies. I was very nervous the first day. It was my first day at a new job plus I was worried how my milk supply would do. I made sure I had everything together the night before because I have zero time in the morning and pumping has a lot of parts. If you're missing even one of them, you're screwed. 

Here's what I use to make the process as smooth and fast as possible.

The Affordable Care Act requires that health insurance plans must cover the cost of a breast pump. Which is pretty awesome because they're $300! You want a hospital grade, double electric pump because although it's never as good as your actual baby, it's pretty darn close. It takes me about of 20 minutes total. 15 minutes to pump and about 5 minutes to get everything together, before and after. 

You get one set of pump parts when you get your pump, but to save time I've found it's best to have multiple sets. I pump three times a day (once at home, twice at work) so I have 6 bottles, and 2 sets of breastshields, valves, and membranes. I have 6 bottles so that I always have 4 with me to pump into, and my mom has 2 bottles full of pumped milk from the day before. I would eventually like to get one more set of pump parts so I'm not using the same parts at work.

3. Wipes

These wipes are great if you have to pump multiple times a day. After my first pump at work, I rinse and wipe all my parts off and they're clean for my next pump. I do thoroughly wash everything in hot soapy water once I get home. They also make sterilizing bags that you can use in the microwave but I'm not exactly near a microwave at the time plus I read sterilizing isn't really necessary if you had a full term baby. But I do know you can also store your parts in a baggy in the fridge between uses too.

4. Lanolin

I use this to "lube up" when I pump. I spread lanolin on the breastshield and it really helps to prevent nipple pain when pumping. You can also use olive oil too!

5. Breastmilk Cooler

This is to keep the pumped milk cold. It only holds 4 bottles so if you have to pump more than 2 times at work you may need something bigger. 

6. Nursing Pads

You might leak some after pumping so I wear these all day.

7. Nursing Bra

I already owned a hands free bra but it's kind of funny looking and I knew I didn't want to wear it all day so I would end up putting it on before I pump and I have no time for that. I have to clock out when I pump so I try to take as little time as possible. Luckily a fellow nursing momma had the same issue and invented The Dairy Fairy Arden All in One Nursing Bra. Don't laugh at the name! This bra is the best invention if you nurse and pump. First of all it looks like a normal bra which is awesome. Second, it has slits to hold your breastshield so your hands are free. Third, if you also need to nurse you can push the panel over and nurse your baby.  This has made pumping at work SO much easier. Emily the owner of The Dairy Fairy has allowed me to offer you all a 15% off discount! The code is TDF15off and it works through Amazon!

8. Your Phone

This is a necessity because what else are you going to do for 15 minutes but look random crap up on your phone! I use the timer on my phone and set it for 15 minutes so I'm not staring at the clock the whole time. I can start the timer and just relax. You also need some pictures or videos of your baby so you'll have a let down. 

I think that covers it! Pumping at work is no fun but I just keep reminding myself that it's the best for Oliver and until my supply starts to really dip or it just isn't working for us anymore, I'm going to keep at it. Only 9 more months to go! (eye roll emoji)
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  1. We actually have a few mother's bathrooms in our offices on different floors, which is so great! I haven't really thought about this yet, but I work with a girl that pumps and she always says she needs her phone LOL! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  2. you are a trooper for sticking with it!! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

  3. My friends that pump all say the same thing— they scroll aimlessly through their phones to pass the time! Perfect time for some Instagram/Pinterest scrolling.

  4. Good job! At my last job I pumped in a storage room because it was the only room with a lock. I had to sit on the floor because of where the outlet was. Not glam but it worked. I didn't have to clock out though. The longer I did it, the faster I became!

  5. I started using these cooler lunch bags (http://www.amazon.com/PackIt-Freezable-Lunch-Closure-Black/dp/B00HJ8DFGC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1453732857&sr=8-2&keywords=cooler+lunch+bags) and love them! They're a little ore discreet than the breastmilk storage cases.

  6. Reading this while pumping ;)

  7. Hope your new job is going well. Keep up the good work pumping. I know it has got to be a hassle. I have heard it gets quicker though!

  8. It's crazy that seeing videos of your baby helps with the milk!

  9. I'm saving all of your baby posts, they're so helpful! Thank you!!

  10. I need to save this post for one day too. So helpful :)

  11. I exclusively pump because my baby has a cleft palate, so I feel your pain. A hospital grade pump is definitely a lifesaver. I had a lactation consultant try to tell me it wasn't, but using anything else gets kind of ridiculous. That stinks that there aren't better accommodations for you at your work, but it seems like you are making the best of it. Love that bra design. I am definitely checking that out!


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