Creating a Breastfeeding and Pumping Schedule For Working Moms
Most mothers will need to express breastmilk during their morning and afternoon breaks as well as a portion of their lunch break. If you don’t have regular break times, discuss scheduling times for breastmilk expression breaks with your supervisor. Each pumping session with a double-sided electric pump will last roughly 15 to 20 minutes. You should allow time to travel to and from the milk-expression area as well as to wash your hands and any equipment.
Creating a breastfeeding and pumping schedule for a working mom can seem impossible. But there are ways to make it easier. Here are a few tips to make pumping more enjoyable: Usually, every two to three hours if your baby is between birth to 6 months and every three to four hours if your baby is 6 months or older. Most moms will need to use their morning and afternoon break times and part of their lunch hour to express breastmilk. Plan to pump 8-10 times in 24 hours. Full milk production is typically 25-35 oz. (750-1,035 mL) per 24 hours. Once you have reached full milk production, maintain a schedule that continues producing about 25-35oz of breastmilk in 24 hours.
Setting a regular pumping schedule.
Setting a regular pumping schedule for a busy working mom can be challenging when you work. Getting out of work to pump often requires a lot of planning and ingenuity. Also, finding a good pumping time is difficult if your job isn’t flexible, such as waiting tables during dinner service. Also, working in the ER can be challenging since nurses work 12-hour shifts. In addition, teachers have recess duties to supervise.
If it works, you can also plan your breastfeeding schedule around natural breaks and slower parts of your day. If you can, work in a flexible schedule or at a company with private offices. If you can’t work during these times, consider pumping during breaks, lunchtime, prep time, and during your breaks. Then, once your baby is about six weeks old, you can cut back to just one session at work.
Ideally, a working mom should implement a daily pumping schedule at least two weeks after delivery. You can do this until your baby is ready to start bottle feeding. It is best to introduce a bottle at around 4-6 weeks, but wait too long, and your baby may not take it. If you can’t take off from work during this time, try to make up for it later.
While a pumping schedule may sound complicated, it doesn’t need to be. It can be modified according to your needs and your baby’s age. A good pumping schedule also considers let-down times and the amount of milk you expect to produce in each session. You may have to rethink your overnight pumping session if your supply suddenly drops. You can get a free pumping schedule here.
Establish a routine for breastfeeding at work. If your employer allows it, set aside time during your lunch break to pump. Then, choose another time of day to pump, depending on the nature of your job and paid breaks. Ensure you have enough milk for your baby’s age and drinking habits. By establishing a routine, you can pump with confidence and ensure your baby’s safety.
If you can’t take a break during your day, consider using your lunch hour to pump. Taking a break in the morning or afternoon is ideal. A thirty-minute break is sufficient to gather your supplies and pump milk. It also gives you the freedom to bend over and pump milk. However, taking five minutes at lunchtime or during your commute may not be enough for you. If you can’t find a 30-minute break, consider using a manual pump or a portable electric one.
Another tip for setting a pumping schedule for a working mom is to stock up on breast milk during the day. A single day’s supply can be 25-30 ounces of breast milk. By spacing out your pumping sessions, you can have enough milk in your freezer to last for a month. For your convenience, try to get a room where you can pump at work.
Distracting yourself while pumping
Pumping for your baby can be stressful and time-consuming if you’re a working mom. While pumping, keep baby clothes nearby and record the sound of the baby to keep you distracted. If you have a pump, try running hot soapy water through its parts to avoid cleaning. A warm compress can help you relax. Also, consider a pleasant distraction such as a baby picture or music.
To make breastfeeding at work less hassle, schedule times during which you can pump. Try to find a private room where you can pump, preferably with a lockable door. If this is not an option, set aside a “do not disturb” sign. Moreover, make sure you have a clean space where you can pump. If you can’t leave your room to pump, get a portable breast pump from a reputable company. Most health insurance policies will cover it for free.
One important thing to remember is that working moms are not always the most kid-friendly workplaces. Some coworkers may not understand the benefits of breastfeeding, while others might not understand the need for time to care for your baby. Even a little thought about your baby can cause you to leak milk. To avoid this, keep the pumping sessions brief and efficient. By staying on schedule, you’ll be able to pump more efficiently without worrying about leaking milk.
Talking to your employer about a private room for pumping is essential. Ideally, this room would be quiet and free from interruptions. An electrical outlet, comfortable chair, and private space would help you pump in peace. You can also buy an insulated bag and an ice pack cooler to store breast milk. Remember to start saving breast milk months before you return to work. Practice expressing milk in private places to avoid interruptions from colleagues and other employees.
Keeping a supply of breast milk in the car before heading home
When you’re a working mom, a frozen supply of breast milk is valuable to have in your car for emergencies. Thaw the milk overnight in the refrigerator or submerge the storage bag in warm water. If you don’t have time to defrost the milk, you can thaw it in your car by keeping it in the glove compartment. Make sure you return to work midweek to have plenty of time to recover from the baby’s arrival and adjust to the new schedule.
After returning to work, you may notice that your milk supply drops. Luckily, you can pump at work if you have an ample supply in your freezer. This will give you enough milk to last your baby through a regular or busy work day. Just make sure to know the laws about breastfeeding and your employer’s policies regarding using a pump in the workplace.
While you can always pump enough breast milk for your baby to drink daily, it’s a good idea to keep some on hand in your freezer in case of emergencies. In addition, keeping a supply of breast milk in your car before heading home can give you the peace of mind you need to get through a hectic day. You can also make a fresh supply of breast milk while traveling, significantly relieves working moms.
When traveling, it cannot be easy to pump breast milk in public because you may not have access to a refrigerator. A nursing top or cover can help, as can a portable cooler and storage bag. A portable cooler with ice will help you stay cold with your milk. And if you’re flying, make sure to request ice once you’ve passed security.
Keeping a supply of breast milk in your car before leaving for work will help you limit the number of times you express while you’re away from home, lowering your risk of engorgement and mastitis. Some mothers will even nurse their babies in the car outside a caregiver’s home. Depending on the caregiver, this might be the best option.
A thermometer is essential to check the temperature of your cooler and ensure that your breast milk is at the right temperature. If you’re traveling long distances, it might also be best to pack ice. This will prevent the milk from melting. If you have a frozen supply, you can store it in a cooler and use it for up to 24 hours. During longer trips, you may even need to add dry ice.