The Ultimate Pumping Schedule for Working Moms
Moms that decide to go to work after having a baby, suddenly find themselves wondering how they are going to figure out how to pump their milk in a safe, private and clean environment at work. Most companies have a private restroom for women that are breastfeeding. In the case of women that are working in a factory, the fire department or in construction, moms have to be a little more creative when it comes to pumping.
Women have to pump on a regular schedule or they could be in a lot of pain. In addition, they could also get mastitis which is very painful and uncomfortable. If there isn’t a safe and clean place to pump, there are a few things you can do.
Pump as much milk at home so your baby has enough breastfeeding bottles. The more women pump, the more milk they produce. If you are working where there isn’t a clean environment and you feel that urgency to pump, you can pump as much milk as possible and throw it out if you think it’s unsanitary.
Just remember that you should still keep yourself on a schedule while you are at work even if the conditions aren’t sanitary. If your job has a semi-clean area that is conducive to pumping, moms can always bring some hand sanitizer along and use it on their hands. Soap and water are better if they’re available for use.
After you wash your hands, make sure you bring a clean washcloth to wipe your breasts if you are sweating. You don’t want any germs to get into the milk that you are pumping for your child. When a mom decides to breastfeed, this can be a difficult job.
When a mom decides to go back to work and breastfeed, this job can become even more difficult. One of the most stressful thoughts in the back of a new mom’s mind is juggling breastfeeding at home and at work.
Mothers have to think about how they are going to pump enough milk and create a pumping schedule so they can stockpile enough milk. They also have to figure out how they are going to pump their child’s milk while working. Therefore, they have to create a pumping schedule during work.
Once they have mastered that, then moms have to figure out how fast they can make it home in time for their child’s 5 pm feeding, if they have groceries to pick up. The nice thing about living in today’s world is people can order groceries online and drive up and pick them up to save time. The world wasn’t technology-friendly 50 years ago when moms were breastfeeding, working and trying to find a simple schedule that worked for the family.
How Much Breastmilk does the Baby Need?
This question is one that many women that are moms go over and over in their mind because many times, women are confused about how much of a supply of breastmilk they need when going back to work. The answer is a mom only has to have enough milk to feed their baby for one day when they return to work. Moms could pump enough for 2 to 3 days if this makes them feel better, but the norm is one day of milk supply.
This all depends on how much your baby is eating, so mothers should think about 10 to 12 ounces. This really isn’t a huge amount and any mother that is breastfeeding successfully could pump this amount in one or two pump sessions. Don’t fret and think this is not enough because you will be pumping at work as well.
When a mom returns to work, she has left a day or two supply of milk at home, so now she is either pumping for a 2nd or 3rd day of milk when she is at work. This is how moms keep the schedule going, as in day 3, she is pumping milk for day 4 and 5, etc. Keep the milk refrigerated in a special bag with your name on it and send this milk with the babysitter or provider with the milk pumped the day before.
Moms don’t really have to get upset if they only have produced a few ounces for safekeeping. You’re still in good shape if your baby has enough milk for the day.
When should Moms Pump After Returning to Work?
This is another question moms worry about when they go back to work. Many mothers return to work before their child is six months old. The majority of moms should feel the need to pump every three hours, so here’s an example: when mom is gone for 10 hours because of work and driving, she should be pumping at least three times at work.
Babies that are breastfed drink about one ounce an hour if mom is not around. When their mother is gone for 10 hours, they will need about 10 to 12 ounces every day for themselves. This is when mom is gone and the ounces are predicted on a 10-hour basis to be safe for the child.
When mom decides to take a break from pumping from her usual 3x per day, she is going to need 10 ounces for the next day, so mom will have to pump an estimated 3.5 ounces during each pump break to keep the allotted 10 ounces as a safety measure.
This is an idea to help moms understand how much breastmilk your baby will be consuming daily. Parents know their own child the best, so if your baby is consuming more milk than the norm, take into consideration that you might have to pump more breastmilk for your baby. Here is an example of a breastfeeding Pumping Schedule that working moms could try.
- 7 am: Mothers can feed their child before they leave for work. In addition, your little one probably was fed a great breakfast as soon as they woke up and after their diapers were changed in the morning. It’s also important to feed them breastmilk before you walk out the door.
- 9 am Time to pump and you could bring a nice picture of your child to dwell on while you are pumping. The picture might help with any guilt you are experiencing.
- 12 pm: 2nd pump of the day and this might be a good idea to create a reminder on your schedule in your phone for every pump break because mothers can forget if they are busy working. It’s very important to keep the same schedule moving right along.
- 3 pm: This will be the third break for pumping for the day. It’s a good idea to bring a small cooler and keep all your milk in it that you pumped during the day. You can keep the cooler near your desk so you don’t forget to bring it home when you punch out for the day.
- 6 pm: Now that you have safely arrived home, you’re ready to feed your baby after a few hugs. Then start nursing because you know your baby has missed your touch and smell all day.
How to Keep the Pumped Breast Milk Safe at Work?
Working mothers are very busy and don’t have much time so this is something moms will find helpful while pumping at work and keeping their breast milk from becoming stale.
- Consider purchasing a nice size bag that holds your breast pump, a small cooler that holds ice or an ice pack, storage bags for your milk, bottles for your milk and good cleaning items. You will need the cleaning items to wash your pump and the gadgets that come with after every session.
- When you complete pumping, take the milk and put it into a small bottle with a cover that won’t let air in and put the milk into the same bottle when you use both breasts to pump the milk. This is when you can take the bottle and put the bottle into the cooler and then just load all of your items back into your breastfeeding bag.
- When you arrive at home, take the three bottles out of the cooler and put them in the refrigerator. In addition, make sure you wash and dry any parts that you are going to use for the next day. You can put your ice pack or ice cubes into your cooler and store this in the freezer for work tomorrow.
- In the morning, don’t forget to send along with the three bottles you prepared yesterday during work and take three more clean bottles along with you for your pumping schedule today. Do this daily and in no time you will be a pro.
There are so many changes that are happening for new moms, and going from being a new mom to a working mom is difficult and comes too quickly. It’s very hard for new moms to go back to their jobs because if they are breastfeeding, there is so much more they have to think about before returning to work. Moms also have to think about how they are going to pump their milk at work and the best way is to come up with a good routine and create a schedule for pumping your milk.
Breastfeeding has been recommended for many years, especially for the first six months of the baby’s life. Many women struggle to keep nursing but they are going to go through many struggles. Lack of sleep because the baby has days and nights mixed up, recovering from childbirth, a small amount of time for maternity leave so it’s no wonder why mothers worry about how to keep their babies breastfed while they are at work.
Important Things to Remember
All moms know that breastfeeding can be rewarding and a beautiful attempt to bond with your child. There’s a lot of new effort that is going to drain many mothers when they go from home to work and have to start a pumping schedule and hope it works for mom and her baby. This is a whole different world because many of our ancestors used wet nurses so moms didn’t have to worry about nursing and could go about her day in high society.
If people were common, then moms on the frontier had to tough it out, especially during times of famine and drought. Don’t make your job harder if you are nursing and working. Ask the family to clean up the house and give everyone chores so you can keep up. If this is your first baby, grandma and grandfather’s are happy to come over and help you as well.
Try Wearing Loose-Fitting Clothes
This probably isn’t going to trip your trigger but it might be more feasible to wear clothes that are loose as far as blouses are concerned. Moms all want to get back into the clothes they haven’t been able to wear for numerous months. If you are planning on pumping, you are also thinking about entering and exiting the bathroom as quickly as possible and hoping no one is in the ladies room.
Some companies have private bathrooms that mothers can use for pumping or a lounge area where a mother can sit and pump. Just remember, you aren’t the only one in your company if it’s large enough to breastfeed, so hopefully, there are other mothers that understand what you are going through.
Don’t Expect to be the Only Person in the Ladies Room
Let’s just say that you are praying this doesn’t happen to you, but most likely it will. Give yourself enough privacy so you can make sure that another female colleague will be respectful and understand that you need privacy. The faster you master pumping, the easier it will be to exit quickly and have pumped enough milk for your child during that break you took to pump.
Dad can Help Too
Dads will most likely be very happy to participate in helping you with breastfeeding. Mosts dads these days realize the enormous pressure his wife has on her plate with working, breastfeeding and keeping the house up along with grocery shopping.
When you come home from work, ask your significant other if he will take the breastmilk, that you worked on so diligently and put this into bottle bags and have him wash the rest of the bottle accessories. This way moms can go right to their babies and give them a well-deserved feeding and bond with the infant they missed all day while they were at work.
Put those Spare Parts in an Area You Remember
This may sound crazy but it doesn’t hurt to have extra bottles, and bottle parts that are stashed in cars, at home, and even at work. This can save you time if you ‘re in a frenzy because you’re missing a part for the bottle.
Moms have a major problem when it’s time to pump, and their breasts are very full and almost ready to leak. This might sound like moms are being paranoid, but if they aren’t wearing a good breast pad, they are going to have leaking milk everywhere. The best thing to do is to have four extra bottles, and the same goes for all the parts of the bottles.
Four spares of each, at home and at work. This will definitely relieve a mother’s stress to know she has extra bottles in her car, at home, and at work.
Always Carry Extra Clean Clothes
All moms are going to leak sooner or later and they can’t help what their breasts are doing so when it comes to leaking, please pack some extra shirts for your job. Milk leakage will dry but leave stains and a crusty feel on your shirts, so it’s best to have extra ones along.
Pack a Bag Before Bedtime
Any mom that has children knows that morning can get pretty crazy at times. Everyone is ready to go and suddenly, your child needs a diaper change. This is why you can include dad in on this one and he can help pack your bag before you all reside for the evening.
Make sure dad has the list and knows to pack the four spare bottles and parts and to make sure these are clean and dry. Think about your schedule, especially if you are just returning to work. You’re going to have to find your niche and sit down and schedule your routine so mornings run smoothly.
This is when you should decide how many times you might have to pump daily. Your boobs are going to be doing the talking so make sure you listen to them because they are in control of you now, so they know when it’s time for a feeding and this is when you have to pump if you are at work.
Moms think about how far you have to drive to work and how tinted your windows are. This might be a great idea to take a break when you’re behind the wheel. Pullover and find a nice secluded area in a parking lot and start pumping.
You can always move to the back seat because most cars have darker tints on the back windows instead of the front. You might be able to get that extra milk you need and not worry about an extra pumping in the bathroom where you work. You can always run outside and pump quickly if your car has tinted windows and if your company allows you to leave the premises during work hours.
New cars like SUVs have 110 outlets already installed in the vehicle, but you might consider having an outlet installed in your car if you don’t have one or your breast pump doesn’t use a regular charger. An outlet is also great for all kinds of electronics as well. Pumping in your vehicle is also another way to make pumping work if you don’t have a traditional job or you can’t find any privacy in your work zone.
Never Toss Your Pump
All parents should keep their pumps for breastfeeding babies. Pumps can be available and parents can qualify for one when they get pregnant with their 2nd child. This way keeping one pump and getting another one will help parents in the long run.
They can keep one at home, and one at work. This will be very helpful because moms have enough to carry around without a breast pump as well.
Don’t Give Up
Many mothers have tried breastfeeding and have given up too soon. Some say that their baby won’t latch, some moms only breastfeed for a while because they are feeding every two hours and some moms are just plain tired and uncomfortable with breastfeeding. Babies will learn to latch on eventually, you just have to be patient.
Breastfeeding is not gross, it’s a natural event that women have this great opportunity to be able to nurse their child. Breastfeeding builds up a stronger immune system, it helps your child get to know you and also this is the quickest way moms can bond with their babies. Some children that are put on formula too fast have problems digesting the formula and seem to be colicky more.
There are drops for gas at the store in the baby department, but read the directions before you give this to your baby. Moms are really just supposed to rest the first 6 weeks after they have a baby, so why not take the time and breastfeed. If your house gets messy, hire a local teenager to help you clean or have your husband, feed the baby with the milk you pumped so you can get those dishes done and get supper ready.
Most babies will sleep and be content for a while after feeding. This is when it’s time for moms to get their work done. If you plan out a routine, your child will get used to just about anything, especially breastmilk. You can always pump and store breastmilk in their bottles and feed them with a bottle if you feel they are not latching on enough. Just remember, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to so keep on trying.