I promised myself when I got pregnant (knowing I would only have a few months off at best) that I wouldn’t force anything post baby and would do whatever made our life easier. I wanted to mitigate stress and didn’t want unnecessary mom guilt. That meant breastfeeding and supplementing with formula. Whatever happened happened. But when Leo was born there was an instinct there I couldn’t ignore. I wanted to feed him and I wanted him to have my milk. One piece of advice I got from a dear friend, was start pumping as soon as you can (like the day you get home from the hospital) Get your boobs used to draining and reproducing, start building a supply and get your babe used to taking a bottle from someone else.
I did that and became like a little obsessed chipmunk trying to hoard as much food (milk) as I could. I was lucky my milk came in the day after I came home from the hospital, and I started bagging and freezing 3 oz bags and soon 3.5oz and now 4 oz bags as often as 1 a day. I did that 4-5 days a week until I went back to work so I had a nice big supply to take to Vancouver for the Nanny!
But of course, that supply doesn’t last forever and I wanted my milk supply to stay consistent so I have to pump at work! We have a rule that however many bottles Cassandra (our Nanny) uses in a day, I have to come home with that many bags of milk.
I usually feed Leo in the morning and start a timer for 2.5 hours. When the timer goes off, we break filming and I go pump. Now depending on the day, how busy we are I can push that up to an hour, but I try not to push it more than 3.5 hours so I come home and can replenish.
I have to say, I was very fortunate to receive the creme de la creme Medela hands-free double pump and I used that exclusively until I went back to work. But the only problem with that is it was big, had lots of components to wash and needed to be charged. So, for the heck of it, I dug up another pump that had been sent to me, the Avent basic single hand pump (this blog is NOT sponsored by the way!) I tried it camping one weekend and was FLOORED on how well it worked. I pumped a full 4 oz in about 10 minutes, and it was SO easy to transport and clean!
After that trip, I kind of shelved my Medela and now only use my single hand pump. I don’t know if its just me but they work so good, are so portable and easy to clean! I keep one at work, and another at home which makes it even EASIER! I also keep spare bags at work to bag my milk and a little portable cooler bag to bring my milk home!
I found pumping at work a lot easier than I thought, and am happy that I am able to work full time and still feed Leo expressed milk and nurse when I’m not working.
THAT SAID, I have gone through a few stages of decreased milk supply. I was so stressed about it at first but then remembered my rule and started supplementing with formula. We use Nestle Good Start and if we are running low on expressed milk, we mix half formula, half milk. Then I step back and ask myself why my supply is low. Usually its a lack of hydration, and I get back on my lactation pills, nursing tea and EATING MORE! … like magic, the milk comes right back in …
The Work Pump Balance takeaways:
1. Use a small portable hand pump
2. Keep bags at work
3. Set a timer
4. Keep hydrated
5. Be easy on yourself
6. Always wear a nursing tank / bra / button up shirt
- Lactation Stimulant | 2. Nursing Tanks | 3. Breast Pump | 4. S’well Water Bottle | 5. Breast Milk Storage Bags | 6. Nursing Bra | 7. Reusable Breast Pads | 8. Nipple Balm | 9. Baby Laundry Soap | 10. Swaddle Blankets
What are your tips for have a healthy work pump balance?!?! Comment below!!!!