For the Pumping and Working Mama

**I originally posted this on my personal blog almost a year ago. This my work, not someone else’s just in case you feel like you’ve seen it before. Maybe you have. 😉  ***

December 2013:

I’ve been working and pumping for almost 4 months now since returning to work in August. The first two months really were a huge learning curve as we struggled with a nursing strike, weight gain, and using the wrong-sized flanges. I thought I’d list out what has worked for me as a pumping mama. I hate it and I think I always will, BUT…I love that my baby girl is still getting my breast milk and that my supply has been great since day one. Things I’ve learned in the process…

  • Prep the night before: I have to make sure that I am washing and drying my parts every night otherwise my morning is totally rushed trying to get everything cleaned and organized.
  • Keep your pump in the same spot: Like most mamas, I am super forgetful especially when I have so many other things I’m trying to think of as we leave the house. I always put my pump in the same spot on the kitchen counter ready to go so that I won’t forget it in the morning.
  • Don’t forget anything! I did this once–thought I had the little white valves in and nope…weren’t there. Thankfully I work in a hospital and was able to find some!
  • Do things while you pump: I like to watch you tube videos. I catch up on Ellen and Conan, two shows I don’t get to watch regularly. I also like playing a game or updating Instagram. This all distracts me from what I’m doing.
  • Make a few videos of you nursing your babe: I love watching some videos of Evie nursing while I pump. It helps the let down, it makes me smile and releases more oxytocin. This too makes the pumping process more enjoyable.
  • Eat and drink: I often have to pump on a regular break so I make sure to have a full water bottle and something to at least snack on. You need those extra calories and hydration for all the pumping you’re doing.
  • Don’t pump at home…unless you have to. I keep the pumping just for work and have rarely had to pump at home. This makes nursing more intimate and helps me only associate pumping with work. Then I dislike it less. 🙂
  • Lastly…just keep reminding yourself that you’re doing a great job! It’s tough work pumping and working. It can be exhausting and interrupts your day. So much of my time is dictated by when I need to pump but I’m totally used to the routine now. It takes time to get comfortable with it all so just keep hanging in there if you’re still trying to figure it all out. I does get easier!
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