Here are important DO’s related to workplace breast pumping:
Do’s Prior to Delivery
- Take a prenatal breastfeeding class to better prepare yourself on breastfeeding tips after delivery. These classes usually cover return to work topics also.
- Read about the Federal Break time for Nursing Law, prior to talking to your boss to be acquainted with nursing mothers rights at work: Break Time for Nursing Mothers – Wage and Hour Division (WHD) – U.S. Department of Labor.
- Talk to your Manager/boss about your plans with breastfeeding prior to taking your maternity leave. Discuss pumping schedule with your boss which is most suitable with your work schedule. For instance, pumping during phone call meeting in office or during lunch break or pumping every 3 hours. You also need to talk about a private area where you can pump, if u do not have a personal office or break room.
- Speak with your co-workers who have pumped in the past at work to obtain any tips with pumping at work.
- Explore baby-sitting options.
- Plan to have most of the maternity leave after you deliver to spend most of your 6 weeks off with your baby to establish a good breastfeeding routine.
- Purchase a compact breast pump, which is mobile with good suction, easy to clean pumping parts.
Do’s After Delivery
- Get acquainted with your breast pump and practice expressing several weeks before going back to work.
- Invest into a good hands free pumping bra to allow you to work or eat lunch while pumping. Also, will need to buy a cooler bag with ice packs to allow for transport of milk from work to home.
- One month prior to beginning work, began pumping after feedings or while your baby is napping to help build up supply. Began storing this pumped milk to have milk on hand.
- Talk to your baby-sitter or child care facility on your breastfeeding desires and to feed baby the pumped milk. Discussed prepared or thawing process for frozen or refrigerated milk.
- Appropriate milk storage is very important in protecting the beneficial components of expressed breast milk. Learn about Breastmilk storage guidelines:
- To start, always date the milk before storing.
- Breast milk can sit at room temperature for 4-8 hours (61-79 degree F)
- In a cooler with 3-4 ice packs (59 degree F), breast milk can stay for up to 24 hours.
- In a Refrigerator (32-39 degree F), breast milk is good for up to 3-8 days and thawed milk is good for 24 hours.
- In a Freezer ( less than 39 degree F), breast milk is good for up to 6 months. And in a Deep Freezer ( F) breastmilk is good for up to 12 months
- In order to thaw frozen milk, thaw slowly in refrigerator, the night before use or place sealed frozen milk bag/bottle in a bowl of warm water to bring the milk to room temperature.
- Do NOT refreeze thawed milk
- Never Microwave Breast Milk as all the protective compositions can be lost with the heat generated from the microwave.
- Help your baby be familiar with bottle feeding with occasional bottle feeding expressed milk couple of weeks prior to going back to work. Wait at least 1 month prior to introducing a bottle. If possible, have someone else do the first bottle feeding.
Do’s when began working
- Breastfeed baby when you are home and when you drop off and pick your baby from your baby sitter. Breastfeed at night.
- Generally, you will be pumping at work every 3-4 hours based on how often you breastfed your child at home. If you working 8-9 hours shift, you may have to pump 2-3 times when you at work to make enough for your baby while he or she is with caregiver. Pumping for 10-15 minutes is the general recommendation on duration of pumping.
- Label your pumped breastmilk with date and time and store in refrigerator or cooler with ice packs.