If you are like most new mothers, the transition from work to full-time new motherhood is going to be pretty intense. It feels like just yesterday that you gave birth and your world was turned upside down and inside out. You have gone through this rite of passage that had this huge learning curve and the subject was new motherhood and breastfeeding. Now that you feel like you finally have your bearings, you take a look at the calendar and realize that it is getting close to your returning to work. Well, not exactly next week, but close enough that you are starting to think about pumping and storing your milk. Yes, another transition is going to be coming down the pike for you.
You are trying to figure out, how you can possibly begin to store milk for when you go back to work, when you have a baby breastfeeding frequently throughout the day. Your head is spinning while you try and figure out how to satisfy your baby and pump extra to freeze. You are also getting way ahead of yourself and thinking about pumping at work. Where to pump? How do moms do this discreetly?
Well, you are in the right place and I am so glad you are here. This is a topic that is so important to mothers that I want to do it justice. This is a very common fork in the road for breastfeeding mothers who return to work. A lack of information and support is a common reason for moms to stop breastfeeding once they return to work. I don’t want that to happen to you. If you are determined, than I am determined to give you all the information you need to make this as smooth a transition as possible. I don’t want to give you just a few pointers and then send you on your way.
I want to give you as much “need to know” and “nice to know” information To do this topic justice, I know it would be way too long to bring it to you in just 1 Blog Post, so there will be 4 posts dedicated to this topic. Each post will have a summary of what the full post is about. At the end, you can click on Read More, which will bring you to a link where you can read the blog post in full and where you can click on a link to listen to the audio of the same blog post. Here is what you have to look forward to:
Here is the breakdown of this 5 Part Series.
Part 1 – The calendar says it is time to get busy – What you need to know to get started pumping and storing your milk.
Part 2 – Tips and tricks to make pumping as easy and convenient as possible.
Part 3 – Babies and Bottles and Day Care – Need to know for a smooth transition.
Part 4 – Tips and tricks to help you navigate pumping in the workplace.
Part 5 – Troubleshooting – This is going to be a great show with listeners participation. Send your questions to allaboutbreastfeeding.biz/contact and I will read them on the air and answer your questions.
Okay, so let’s get going…
To start off with, staying home as long as possible will work in your favor. You quickly learn that as a mother, your new role often means thinking outside the box, being creative. And planning your return to work is no different.
Perhaps it is possible to stay home a little longer than you had initially planned. This give you More time to get use to breastfeeding, to get really good at it, to build a good supply and for you to recover from pregnancy and birth. Sometimes we need to do some adjusting, speak to our employers, if self-employed ask for some help. I have found that the reality is for some moms, is that their positions actually allow for them to return to work PT and gradually build themselves up to FT. This gives them a bit of a breather.
Perhaps start back to work on a Wednesday, so you don’t jump in to a full packed week.
Perhaps start back to work with half days. Perhaps every other day.
I have known some pretty determined moms who have taken this discussion to their employers and
found that they were much more amenable to being flexible than they ever would have thought.
For some mothers, they do not have this luxury and need to return to work sooner, rather than later. As you will see, there are quite a few variables, so the advice given is going to be a loose template in which you are going to need to refine it and make it your own.
First things first: What is your return to work day? Let’s say it is July 25th, 2016
Now put a big “X” on your calendar 3 weeks before your first day back at work.
So, this means you will be putting the “X” on July 4th.
The day with the BIG “X” is the day when you should start pumping.
My plan is for you to spend 14 days pumping and 7 days orientating your baby to the bottle.
If you baby has already been taking the bottle, this will leave you with more days to collect and store your milk.
Since there are a lot of unknowns, we can only estimate.
I like to overestimate which will result in you having more milk stored than perhaps not enough.
There is much more to learn. Including: No need to become a Super pumping mama spending your whole maternity leave pumping.
How do you know when to pump? How much milk you do need to freeze ahead of time?
What should you expect as far as pumping volume? What is Lipase and why do I need to know about it?
BONUS: All the FREE handouts and checklists that go along with this 5 Part Series
Listen to the podcast here