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Secrets to Working and Pumping
When I had my first son, I hadn’t planned to go back to work. I suddenly had to go back to work when he was three months old. I was totally unprepared and my son went from exclusively breastfed to mostly formula in a short amount of time. I learned a lot from my experience with him and was much more prepared when I had my daughter. I could only breastfeed him and work full time. Because of my life and the emotions of trying to pump enough milk for the next day, I wanted to collect all my tips and write them down for others to use. I hope you find these tips useful.
1. Plan ahead if possible. Before returning to work, stock up on the freezer.
2. Don’t just pump at work. Pump at home on days off and before and after work.
3. Pump while breastfeeding. Pump from one side while breastfeeding from the other.
4. Find a good place to pump where you are comfortable and can relax.
5. Make sure everyone at work knows how important breastfeeding is and doesn’t interrupt you.
6. Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Drink a large glass of water about an hour before pumping.
7. Use a quality double breast pump like Ameda Purely Yours.
8. Rent a hospital-grade pump if your supply is dwindling.
9. Find other moms to talk to who are breastfeeding and breastfeeding.
10. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t pump a large amount at once. Most moms pump about three ounces per pump.
11. Pump often. Pumping often is more important than timing.
12. Try to pump at least every three hours.
13. Pumping is NOT as effective as nursing. Don’t measure your milk supply by how much you pump. Your baby will get more milk when you breastfeed than when you pump.
14. Before breastfeeding, relax and give a quick breast massage. This will help you fail better.
15. Every time you give your baby a bottle, make sure you pump instead.
16. Smoke often at night or try to drive in reverse. Reverse cycling is when the baby nurses more at night than during the day.
17. Co-sleep with your baby when it’s convenient for you so he can nurse more at night. Nursing at night helps to supply you.
18. Try drinking Mothers Milk tea.
19. Eat a bowl of oatmeal in the morning. Oatmeal is really good for increasing milk supply.
20. Avoid giving your baby a bottle before he is three weeks old.
21. Use a slow flow nipple for bottles.
22. Find a daycare center that supports breastfeeding. An uneducated day care provider can sabotage your success.
23. Take fenugreek or blessed thistle
24. Use a supplemental nursing system if you need to supplement while at home.
25. Don’t think the baby is fussing, it’s your gear. Often, the child becomes irritable for other reasons.
26. When making bottles for day care, keep them in three ounce portions. Your baby probably only needs three ounces at a time. If he needs more, up to four.
27. Send small 2oz bottles of breast milk to the daycare provider to give to baby when you pick him up soon. That way, the baby will be ready to nurse when you get him home.
28. Babysit your lunch break if you can.
29. Take a picture of your baby with you to work. Watch your baby when you pump. This will help with your frustration.
30. Let the nurse in. At the weekend, spend the entire weekend with your baby and nurse in bed as often as possible.
31. If the milk stops flowing, take a break while pumping. Massage your breasts and use nipple stimulation to get a second peace. You usually get another ounce if you can fail the other one.
32. Reduce caffeine consumption. Caffeine inhibits your supply
33. Don’t go on extreme diets. Eat a healthy diet.
34. Contact a La Leche League leader or lactation consultant for advice.
35. Avoid using bottles and pacifiers at home.
36. Try to switch nursing while at home. Nurse on one side and then switch to the other side if the baby seems fussy. Switch sides two or three times while nursing.
37. Remind yourself of all the rewards your child will receive and that it is worth it!
38. Keep the pump pre-assembled so you can shorten pumping breaks.
39. If you use a pump with horns, put them in a Ziploc bag and store in the freezer between pumps. That way you can easily wash them when you get home.
40. If you can, do paperwork while pumping. This way you get more pumping breaks and relax more when you’re not focused on pumping.
41. Don’t look at the pump. Staring at the pump while watching the milk will make your session more intense.
42. Adjust the suction knobs, experiment with speed and suction until you find what works best for you.
43. Keep spare parts for your pump on hand so you don’t have an emergency.
44. If you have a hands-free pump, such as whisper clothes, try pumping the drive.
45. Massage your breasts while pumping.
46. Pump in the morning. Your stock is best in the morning.
47. Bring a baby blanket or an item of clothing that smells like a baby. Use your senses to visualize your baby.
48. Close your eyes and imagine nursing a baby.
49. Keep a spare pump at work or in the car in case you forget it. The Avent Isis is affordable and a great pump for a backup.
50. Pat yourself on the back for giving your child the best!
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