Continuing to breastfeed and pumping at work for your child can be extremely hard. This was my second baby, but my first time pumping for any extended amount of time. I also didn’t nurse my first child longer than 5 months due to unforeseen circumstances beyond my control. With that being said I wanted to share with you the products I used without fail during my year of pumping at work, in the car, on vacations…. You name it.
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First things first I have my own opinions regarding my child’s health and breastfeeding, however, I will not discuss those here. This is a judgment free article.
I have been nursing my daughter now for 18+ months and there is no indication that she is ready to stop. When I got pregnant with her I knew I wanted to breastfeed her for many different reasons, but the biggest for me was her health. I had already been through 5 years of health issues with my oldest daughter. I wanted to do everything I could to avoid any major health issues with my second child if possible. So I was headstrong in this goal I had set for myself.
I set a goal of nursing + pumping for 1 year and to continue to nurse her in the morning and at night beyond the first year as long as she was still interested. I also had another short term goal to get her to 6 months of being exclusively breastfed. After that, we would implement BLW. My husband has been a staunch supporter of my goals.
My biggest hurdle, in the beginning, was getting past the pain and discomfort. You need a good cream, in the beginning, to apply between feedings. Your nipples will thank you later if you just take a second to rub on some cream.
I made sure I had a good supply of breast pads. I used the lansinoh brand. I tried several brands and always came back to this one brand. They were the most comfortable and didn’t cause any undue chafing.
I went out and bought comfortable wire-free nursing bras. These saved my life not only when it came to nursing, but when it came to pumping. Do you know how much it sucks to push your wire bra up your chest to get to the goods?
Yeah, I do… trust me and buy some comfortable wire-free nursing bras. I preferred the wire free because when I would get engorged the wires would cut into me and not allow a lot of movement.
I invested in a quality hands-free pumping bra. You may think, “Oh I don’t need that. I can just hold my bottles.” Uh, yeah. Take a second to digest this. YOUR. ARMS. WILL. GET. TIRED. Especially if it’s your 4th time pumping today. You can eat, drink, read, work, etc. if you own a pumping bra. They are ingenious. I bought one that zips up. I just unhooked the nursing bra as if I would feed my child and wrap the pumping bra over the top and zip it up. Pop in your parts and you’re in business.
I stocked up on pumping parts. You do not want to stand at the sink for a thousand hours and wash pump parts. I made sure I had a good 5 sets of parts to start and eventually worked that up to 8 sets. Call me crazy, but it saved so much time. I would keep a bowl by the sink and drop my rinsed parts in it at the end of the day. I would wash these parts every other day. I had to clean out space obviously for all of these parts to live- so you will need to figure that out. Again I found a giant bowl to put my parts in and it worked for me.
I bought storage bags that actually stored flat and easily. If your plan is to build up a stash like I did then you will want to buy bags that actually lay flat. I tried about 5 different types of bags and always came back to these just like the pads I mentioned above. Seriously, Lansinoh is affordable and will save your sanity when it comes to storing your frozen milk. This is not a sponsored post, however, I love their brand. It really is affordable, quality product.
Obviously, to make all of this happen I had to have a good pump. I had two actually. I used Medela Pump in Style Double Pump with my first daughter and I actually had saved that pump with the intention of using it again. Once my second child was coming I got another identical to it. That way all of the parts were interchangeable.
Once I went back to work I took pump #2 to work along with a small supply of storage bags, extra plastic grocery bags, dish soap, medela cleaning wipes, nipple pads, and a fruit basket. Yes, a fruit basket. I needed something to keep all of my things neat and together at work and I had an extra laying around. Anything will work really.
That’s it. I didn’t use anything fancy. I stuck to a schedule at first and got to know my body and my daughter. After that, it was a lot easier because I had good tools in place to help me succeed.
Throughout the nights I would wear a nursing tank like this one. When my supply dipped after I went back to work I used this milkmaid tea. I also made large batches of lactation cookies, specifically this recipe. These things really helped me to succeed. I wouldn’t have pumped enough milk to store in the deep freezer (that we still have over 50 ounces of to this day).
The commitment and investment it takes to get off the ground with nursing a baby can be cumbersome at first. But it is so worth it once you reach that point where maintaining a supply and being comfortable pumping as well as nursing are easy. The key to my success was creating a routine that worked. Every morning I would get up and pump first thing while I put on my makeup.
The key to my success was creating a routine that worked. Every morning I would get up and pump first thing while I put on my makeup. Then I would store that milk away and gather my pump supplies for work that day. After that, I would get the children ready to go and away we went for the day.
If you’re needing more information on pumping and returning to work I encourage you to head over here and read this article by Mom Loves Best. It’s chocked full of so many great tips. They cover everything and the kitchen sink (literally cleaning bottles and parts) in this article!
Do you want to take control of your pumping & breastfeeding journey? Create a routine around your schedule and ditch the stress. Grab my free routine printable and get started today!
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