Places to pump
Given the fact that, in many cases, we are light years away from a uniform breastfeeding friendly work environment in the US, here are some suggestions on places to pump: lounge, locker room, unused conference room or office, your car (yes, that's one reason that Medela makes vehicle lighter adapters), or a women's restroom. As yucky as it sounds, for many mothers pumping in the restroom is the only option they have. Make sure you have hot water available for cleaning pump parts, and bring your own soap. You may even want to bring your own basin from home if you don't feel comfortable with the cleanliness of the sinks.
Try to find a comfortable space with an electric outlet. If you absolutely don't have a place to plug in your pump, you can use a small battery pump (which is less effective than the Pump In Style or the Lactina) or you can rent or buy a PowerPack. Medela offers this option that allows you run either the Pump In Style or the Lactina on battery power, and it also contains a vehicle lighter adapter for pumping in the car.
Before returning to work, you may want to discuss your options with your employer. If at all possible, try to return on a part-time basis, even if only for a week or so. You may also try to return to work on a Friday rather than a Monday so that you'll have the weekend to recover from your first day back. While all employers should be supportive of your efforts to continue nursing, you may occasionally encounter a boss or supervisor who not only is not supportive, but may actually be hostile when you try to pump at work. In situations like this, sending a copy of the following letter may be helpful:
To whom it may concern:
Jane Doe, the mother of a six-week old breastfed infant, will be returning to work on a full time basis on March 11, 2001.
While nursing an infant this age, it is important for the mother to empty her breasts at regular intervals (ideally every two to three hours) in order to maintain her milk supply and prevent medical complications such as plugged ducts and mastitis (breast infection).
My recommendation is that Jane be allowed several fifteen minute breaks each day, in addition to her regular lunch break, in order to express her milk with an electric breast pump.
I hope that you will be willing to work with her regarding this matter, since regular milk expression during prolonged periods of mother-baby separation is in the best interest of both mother and child.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions that you might have.
Anne Smith, IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant)
Leaking at work is much more of a concern than leaking at home. Soaking through your shirt may be inconvenient while you are at the grocery store or visiting a friend, but when you are making an important presentation in front of your boss and a roomful of clients, it can be disastrous.
That's why I offer the BLIS (Breastmilk Leakage Inhibitor System) This product can be a lifesaver for moms who leak a lot and have to be separated from their baby for extended periods of time.
Here are some other tips for dealing with leaking:
Continuing to breastfeed after returning to work or school is a real labor of love, but it is well worth the effort. No, it isn't easy, and requires a great deal of commitment and work on your part. Only you can provide the best possible nourishment for your baby, and there is no doubt about the physiological benefits (immunities, fewer illnesses, less time missed from work/school), the financial benefits (cost savings associated with fewer doctor visits and not buying formula, which can cost anywhere between $100 to $200 per month, depending on the type), and the psychological benefits (the closeness, bonding, and skin-to-skin nurturing) that only you can provide.
And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .
SheKnows is making some changes!