When a mother returns to work, she has many things on her mind. When she is a breastfeeding mother, one of the items on her returning to work list is often figuring out the logistics of expressing her milk during the workday. She has worked hard during the early weeks of mothering and it almost feels like now that breastfeeding is going smoothly, she now has another adjustment to make.

Employer and peer support are a very important component to her success. Some co-workers or supervisors who have never breastfed, do not understand her need to take regular breaks to express her milk.

What they don’t understand is that when a mother is separated from her baby, she needs to use hand expression or a breastpump to remove the milk as frequently as her baby normally would have, had she been with her baby. If she does not remove the milk on a regular basis, she is likely to notice a quick drop in her supply and soon be in jeopardy of not making enough milk for her baby. Not removing the milk on a regular basis can also make the mother uncomfortably full and create painful breast tissue and possibly a breast infection.

Mothers who return to work know that all they need to do is take two 15-20 minute breaks and another during lunch and use this time to pump. Depending on their workday, some mothers will need to pump less and some might need to pump more. A private room and her own cooler to store her milk are all that is needed.
I can’t say this enough times:

Breastfeeding employees should never be expected to express milk in a restroom! Restrooms are unsanitary, usually lack appropriate electrical connections, and do not provide a place to comfortably operate a breast pump.

Mothers and their employers and co-workers quickly learn that pumping is usually done during regular breaks that all employees typically get. They realize that pumping does not need to interfere with the mothers ability to get her job done during regular working hours.

The length of time that a mother needs to pump is a relatively short time in the scheme of things. As her baby grows, it is common for breastfeeding to gradually decrease and along with this will be a reduction in her pumping times. The AAP recommends that baby’s be breastfed or provided with their mothers milk for at least the first year of their life.

All About Breastfeeding rents the Medela Symphony Breastpump. If you live local and are unsure if this pump is for you, email Lori at aabreastfeeding@hotmail.com to schedule a pump trial. Renting the pump is easy and quick. Locally you can call or email to schedule a time to pick up your pump. The Medela Symphony can also be rented and shipped out of state. Email Lori at aabreastfeeding@hotmail.com for more information. Pump Rentals