This is the fourth of six posts in the “Pumping with Weather Anchor Mama” series by Stacy-Ann Gooden.
Stacy-Ann currently delivers the weather week nights in New York City, however considers her most important role being a wife and mom. She writes about balancing career and motherhood in her blog Weather Anchor Mama.
My goal was to pump for one year and I’m proud to say that I’ve exceeded that! I’d sneak away two to three times during my shift, in between shows for about 15-20 minutes a session. It can be a bit tedious carrying all that gear and washing all the parts after each use, but it’s worth it! I’ve spoken with other moms who’ve mentioned that they tried doing the deed for a number of months, but later gave up, so I would like to share some tips with those of you planning on nursing and pumping at work, that have helped me tremendously!
As I mentioned in Part 1, there isn’t always time to pump at work. When there’s active weather, my job takes precedence. Thankfully that’s not always the case. I have a pretty understanding employer who allows me a place to express milk each day. Some may feel they don’t have the opportunity to pump at work, but I firmly believe that you can do it. It’s just a matter of planning and asking your employer for assistance.
When I made the announcement that my hubby and I were expecting, I immediately told the HR representative that I planned on breastfeeding and began making arrangements as I drew closer to my due date. I had heard stories about moms pumping in the bathroom and decided early on that that wasn’t going to be me. I wanted a nice clean and comfy environment to pump in.
I can’t say it was a spa-like setting, but it was sufficient. It was neatly tucked away from everyone, and the office came complete with a microwave and refrigerator. I’ve been able to pump during my lunch hour and store away my milk for the remainder of my shift. Talk about convenience!! I also had a key, which was icing on the cake.
Here are my top five tips:
1. Don’t be afraid to plan early! Once you announce your pregnancy to your boss, ask about a pumping room. I know there may be some exceptions, but most businesses will provide a pumping room (that is not the bathroom).
2. Research different pumps. I’ve heard that hospital pumps are the best, but I feel that my Medela is right up there! It’s pretty expensive, so be sure to add it to your registry. If no one buys it for you, you are eligible for a percentage off after your new arrival! My little one also enjoys drinking from the Medela bottles.
3. Get some storage bags and containers. I tried a few, but I like Lansinoh bags because they store and pour easily and they’re affordable.
4. If you do decide to pump at work, don’t forget to pump and/or nurse at home. Your boobies and baby will thank you later for keeping that supply going! I’ll talk more about how I was able to rebuild my milk supply in Part 5.
5. If you’re not comfortable with your pumping conditions at work, then speak up! You want your pumping experience to be as comfortable as possible.
I hope you find these tips helpful. For more info on pumping and breastfeeding laws, visit the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Did you pump breastmilk for your baby after you returned to work? What is the best tip that you can share with us from your experience? We’d love to hear from you!
The content of this post is based on the personal experiences of Stacy-Ann Gooden and may not reflect evidence-based information. Your experiences may differ. Please consult your health care provider and/or a Board Certified Lactation Consultant for advice.