Saturday, August 8, 2015
This year, the theme of World Breastfeeding Week is "Let's Make it Work!"
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action is calling on all of us to work together to raise awareness globally for mothers in the workplace with:
concerted global action to support women to combine breastfeeding and work
ratification and implementation of maternity protection laws and regulations by governments
inclusion of breastfeeding target indicators in the Sustainable Development Goals
"Whether a woman is working in the formal, non-formal or home setting, she needs to feel sufficiently empowered to claim the right to breastfeed on behalf of both herself and her baby... women face many challenges in combining productive and reproductive work. Supporting this right of all women requires diverse strategies and engaging different partners and forging common agendas." -WABA WBW2015 Press Release (pdf HERE).
The Affordable Care Act amended the Fair Labor Standards Act to require employers to provide employees with “reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for 1 year after the child’s birth each time such employee has need to express the milk.” Employers are also required to provide “a place, other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public, which may be used by an employee to express breast milk.”  You can read more about this law HERE.

When it comes time for a mother to return to work, it's essential that they receive support to continue to be able to provide breastmilk for optimal nutrition of the child.  While a woman is pregnant, she can begin to construct a plan for pumping at work.   Here are some Pumping Tips for Working Moms.
1.  Discuss your need for appropriate privacy and time to pump at work with your supervisor.  It helps to let them know that you will miss less days of work due to a sick child and have less healthcare costs if you continue breastfeeding.  Don't feel embarrassed to tell your employer that you're a breastfeeding mother. You should feel empowered that you are providing this to not only your child and your own health, but also for your employer and our entire healthcare system.
2.  Get a quality double electric breast pump.  A double pump will pump both breasts at the same time, cutting the time it'd otherwise take to empty both breasts with a manual or single electric.  Choosing a pump that's right for you may seem challenging because there's many options available.  You can talk to your IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) and see what they recommend and/or ask your friends who have pumped beyond 6 months what worked for them.  You may be able to get a breast pump for FREE!
If you'd rather, you can always rent a pump if you want to give it a trial before committing to the costly purchase, also.  There may be organizations (WIC, Public Health, etc.) that are able to assist with rental fees.  Here is my recommendation- closed systems are best.  Feel free to read my review of the Ardo Calypso Double Plus.
3.  You can buy a hands-free bra or make one yourself by just cutting holes into your bra (check out THIS pin)!  Having your hands free to eat your lunch, catch up on emails or just go about your normal break business will make pumping a lot easier!
4.  Get a nice bag that can help organize and conceal your pump and supplies like the Sarah Wells Annie Breast Pump Bag!
5.  Make sure you have the right fit for your flange.  Your IBCLC can help with this, but I found a really helpful image that gets to the bottom of fitting issues from Breast, Bottle & Beyond.
6.  Set up a pumping station.  A comfy chair next to an outlet and a table nearby makes the perfect station.  Here's a pic submitted by Jessica P. of her work pump station as an idea!
Looking at photos of your little one, watching videos of them or an audio of them fussing can really help maximize letdown while pumping.
7.  Know output norms.  Many moms believe they are not making enough milk, when they actually are.  First, check out the Milk Calculator from Kellymom to see how much expressed milk your baby needs and How Much Milk Should You Expect to Pump from Nancy Mohrbacher.  You will need to pump every 2-3 hours and try your hardest to keep a devout schedule.  Pump in the same place, at the same time every day. Make pumping a ritual.
8.  Stay hydrated, well-nourished & catch those zzz's.  Buy a good water vessel and drink at least 5 ounces every hour.  You can put a timer on your phone to remind you it's hydration time. In this article- Mother's Milk- How to Increase Your Supply by Dr. Jay Gordon, it says to drink at least 64 ounces of water a day.
Remember if you put good things into your body, you will feel much better mentally and physically.  I found that sunflower seeds and almonds not only helped give me protein and energy, but also are a natural source of lecithin which will help keep milk ducts open and prevent clogs.  Some other great snacks to keep close by are apples, bananas, granola bars, peanut butter or cheese and crackers, hard-boiled eggs, and hummus or guacamole and whole grain chips!
Sleep is a tricky one.  Jokes on us, right? Well the truth, for me at least is if it wasn't for co-sleeping I do not know how I would have made it.  Co-sleeping is beneficial because there's no getting up out of bed, walking through the house, getting baby, moving about... instead you can stay more rested in bed.  Check out more benefits in this article, Co Sleeping - 8 Benefits of Bed Sharing with Baby by Belly Belly Baby.
9.  Make it easy!  A good friend of mine gave me some great tips on how to make pumping easier- within an 8 hour shift, you can use one set of flanges/connectors and bottles.  Just dump what you collect from each session into a tall stainless steel or glass bottle and refrigerate it alone. When you get home, separate it into storage bags or bottles for the next day.  This way, you'll have less pump parts to wash!  Here's a pic submitted from Nikki W. showing everything clean and ready on the Boon Grass Countertop Drying Rack (affiliate link).
And we use the Munchkin Sprout Drying Rack from Amazon (affililate link).

10.  RELAX!  Remember you're doing a great job and every drop counts.  Don't give up on a bad day.  You got this!  You're a great mama!

 A few other things to consider:
Take any chance you can to nurse rather than pump.  This is the best way to keep up with production.  Breastfeed right before leaving the house and immediately when arriving to daycare to pick up child.  Also, if there's an opportunity to nurse your baby during break time, do it! Here's a helpful list of questions from Parent Savvy to ask your child care provider to determine if they are breastfeeding-friendly and HERE is a PDF pamphlet from WIC with guidelines to give to your child care provider- How to Meet the Needs of Breastfed Babies in Child Care. Here's info on Paced Bottle Feeding from Kellymom that will help you and your caregiver further support your breastfeeding efforts.

Do you have advice for a new mom that will need to pump?


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