If you are getting ready to get back to work after having your firstborn, you must have a lot of questions. Naturally, you must be asking yourself: how often should i pump at work? For most mommies, it takes some trial an error to figure out how frequently to pump in order to replace the ounces their babies drink while they are at not together.
It seems logical that a single pumping is equal to a single feeding session of your child, but it is not quite the case for many a mother. Babies are much more efficient at sucking the milk directly out of the breast. Even the strongest hospital-grade pump cannot compete with the innate abilities of your baby in this regard.
Some mothers do not have problems pulling enough milk with their pumps, but others need to use it a couple of times for the quantity to amount to one feeding. When you are working within a specific timeframe of the day, it can seem hard to get enough milk for your infant. So let us figure out how often should you pump at work.
As is has been established, the unwritten rule is to pump enough milk to replace all the feedings your child intakes while you are separated. Depending on the age of your baby and if they’re consuming solids, you ought to pump every two to three hours while away.
Let’s say you are working eight hours and your kiddo is taking three bottles during that period. In that case, it would be best to pump at least three times. However, no one can guarantee you that this will provide you with enough ounces to replace what your baby is taking throughout the day.
It must be stressed once more that it could take some trial and error to see how your body is reacting to pumping more often and breastfeeding fewer times during the day. It is also important to take your commute into account. If your commute lasts two hours and your shift lasts eight, you might need to pump about five times in total.
Yes, this does seem to be a lot, and it is normal to be overwhelmed by all this, but with proper management, you might just need to pump at work only two times.
The secret to it being: pumping while driving. It sounds shocking but it is completely doable and a huge time saver as well.
With a proper plan, everything is possible. Let say you feed your baby right after waking up and getting ready for work. So, your first pump session can start as soon as you get in the car and head to work. After that, you can use your morning and afternoon break for the second and third session.
Another option would be pumping after breastfeeding your baby, even though you will do it again in the car. There are a couple of extra options you can work with.
Naturally, you can pump on your way back home as well, thus crossing off the fourth session from the list. That leaves session number five for right after you put your baby to sleep, after finishing your dinner and nighttime routine. As you can see, it is possible to only pump twice at work!
Of course, this schedule cannot guarantee identical amounts each time as even a super mommy is a human after all, but you ought to get anywhere between three and six ounces each time. If all goes well, you should not have issues replacing four bottles your baby takes during your time away. Still, if you need to pump more often, you shouldn’t be discouraged by the fact.
You can add an extra pumping session in the morning or during lunch, or perhaps even in the evening, to get those extra ounces if needed. Don’t forget, pumping is all about the supply and demand. As you increase the frequency, your body will increase milk production.
By now, you may have realized that your breasts are more engroged when you wake up. So, if your child requires those additional ounces, now is your chance. You could pump a little before you breastfeeding your baby after they wake, or you can breastfeed your child on one breast, and simultaneously pump the other.
It doesn’t all depend on your body and routine, however. The strength of the pump can make all the difference when it comes to ounces. While some mommies can use any pump, others might need the extra help to pump the required amount.
Once you set your schedule, it is best to stick to it as much as possible. Skipping a pumping season at the office might seem convenient, but you are setting yourself up to fail that way.
In case your schedule is not fixed, you can utilize your work calendar to mark yourself as unavailable during pump sessions, so your coworkers will know not to disturb you. If you want to keep your supply up, then you must remember that consistency is crucial.
When the time comes for your baby to start solids, be careful not to drop pump sessions too early. Even though a child has started consuming solid food, they still might require four bottles during your time away, the same as before. You might not be able to begin reducing and stopping the pumping sessions until the twelve-month.
Pumping while working can undoubtedly be overwhelming in the beginning, but it will quickly become your routine. It might take a while to get things right, and you might need to try out a couple of options before you find the schedule that works best for you and your child.
Despite all the challenges you may encounter, the biggest one probably being time, you can be can be assured that, as many mommies before you, you will find a perfect balance between working and pumping/breastfeeding.