Thursday, January 5, 2012

Working and Breastfeeding. The basics.

Let's just get real...working full time and trying to breastfeed is hard.  Somehow we get it done.  Here are a few things that have made it easier on me.

First off, I am lucky enough to have an office to myself.  One where I can close the door and close the blinds and nobody sees me.  That definitely makes for easier pumping.  So, I unfortunately don't have any tips for bathroom pumping.
I have a Medela electric pump.  This has helped too.  It makes for quicker let down and quicker "emptying".  This means overall quicker pumping time.
I wear easy to pump in clothes.  I wear clothes I would nurse in partially because I also feed Kyra on my lunch break.  Button down shirts over nursing tanks work wonders. 
I breathe and relax WHILE the pump is doing it's thing.  It doesn't help for me to really relax before I attach the pump to my breast.  If I start slowly breathing and imagining Kyra while the pump starts then the letdown is quicker.
I have a paper towel or a small hand towel ready.  I wipe while removing the pump funnel.  This prevents leakage on my shirt or bra that screams "I JUST PUMPED" to the world. 
Bring an extra set of nursing pads and leave them in your pump pack.  This way you can change them after pumping so you don't have to worry about yeast infection, etc from wet pads.
I drink at least 12oz of water AFTER I pump to replenish myself and make sure I don't dehydrate.
I also take the herb Fenugreek at night before I go to bed.  I ran this by my OB and lactation consultant before I did this so if you want to try it, make sure you run it by yours too.

Lastly, and most importantly, don't sweat it.  With Teagan I stressed so much over not having enough milk.  As she got older and as the weeks after maternity leave went by I started getting a little less while pumping.  My body was getting use to her needs and I was basically forcing it to stay on task.  At 9 months we'd ran out of extra supply and I was literally pumping for the next day.  Then that wasn't enough and we had to supplement an ounce or two a day.  It killed me.  It shouldn't have.  This time, if that happens, I won't stress about it.  Teagan didn't grow an extra limb and neither will Kyra.  Letting myself off the hook has really helped this go 'round.

Do you have any breastfeeding and working tips?  If so, share them with me! I'm sure other Mama's would love to hear them too!

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