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Heading back to work after having a baby is difficult for many new parents, and especially if you’re nursing. There are many ways to ease the transition, while maintaining your feeding schedule. We spoke with working & breastfeeding expert, Jessica Shortall, who shares tips from her new book, Work. Pump. Repeat., to help you bridge the gap of being a new nursing mom at work.
Pumping breastmilk at work is hard, awkward, and weird. Luckily, working moms are amazing, and the millions of women who have gone before you have developed some awesome (and sometimes hilarious) hacks to make this crazy journey a little easier.
1. Forgot a pump bottle (or both)? You can use clean coffee cups to catch milk. Wash with soap and hot water, or put a couple of ounces of water into each mug (ceramic, not plastic!), cover with a saucer, and microwave for a minute to steam-clean. You can also Scotch-tape Ziploc bags or breastmilk storage bags to your pump parts.
2. Forgot breast pads? If you’re newly back at work, you’re probably leaking, and you do not need Tim from Accounts Payable asking you why your shirt is wet. Cut a pantyliner in half – it even has adhesive! Just make sure it is fragrance-free so you don’t get a rash.
3. Need ice to keep milk cool on a flight or long car ride? Fill empty breastmilk storage bags with ice, or throw a water bottle in the freezer.
5. Pumping in a bathroom stall? This is going to happen to you if you travel for work, and for some working women it’s a daily reality, like it or not. Keep a pack of Post-It Notes in your pump bag, and put one over the toilet’s auto-flush sensor so it doesn’t flush on your butt while you’re pumping. Or hang your pump bag on the door hook and stand to pump.
6. Pressed for time? (Hint: You will be.) Don’t bother washing your pump parts in between pumping sessions. You can throw them, milk droplets and all, into a large Ziploc bag, and into the fridge. It’s sanitary, and lactation-consultant-approved! Put the Ziploc in an opaque bag if you’re using a shared office fridge and don’t feel like hearing about it from co-workers. The pump horns will be refreshing (that means cold) next time around, but sometimes that can be nice when you have sore boobs!
Most importantly, whatever you do, and however this journey ends up for you, you are an awesome mom. Working AND mothering AND breastfeeding is crazy hard work, and, like most things in parenting, it doesn’t work out perfectly for everyone who attempts it. But please be kind to yourself, and remember this: your worth as a mother is not measured in ounces.
Image via Jessica Shortall
Think you’ve heard it all when it comes to the added bonuses of breastfeeding? Think again. Thanks to an increased awareness over the last 10 years, plus a ton of new studies done on the subject, the benefits just keep piling up.
Here are 10 of the most eye-opening benefits we’ve heard yet. Prepare to be amazed… More
Father’s Day is such a great time to celebrate dads for the huge role they play in their kids’ lives. Another huge role they play that often goes unnoticed? Breastfeeding support — which can make or break a mom’s success. If you’re a new dad just starting out (or a dad-to-be who’s about to), here’s a cheat-sheet of all the little, yet all-too-important things you can do to help Mom now that she’s breastfeeding…
1. Remember to tell your partner how proud you are of them for breastfeeding, especially when it isn’t easy, and that she’s a good mother regardless of how she chooses to feed your baby. More
Best for Babes knows that breastfeeding can be challenging in the beginning, and that more than anything new moms deserve to be cheered on coached and celebrated. Here are our top tips for how to beat the Breastfeeding Booby Traps(R) so you can achieve your personal breastfeeding goals.
1. Get your game face on. Treat planning to breastfeeding like planning a wedding, or interviewing for a job. Pregnancy lasts nine months, the benefits of breastfeeding last a lifetime for you and your babe. Take a good breastfeeding class, find an excellent lactation counselor (IBCLC), and put their number in your speed dial. More
Before your baby begins to sleep through the night, he or she will inevitably wake and want to nurse in the wee hours — long before your coffee pot has even brewed its first cup. Make these middle-of-the-night feedings easier by dressing smarter for both sleeping and breastfeeding. Here’s a few tips:
When looking for nighttime nursing wear, comfort should be your first priority. A leisure bra or unstructured sleep bra works best. In the early weeks your breast size may vary, as your milk supply is adjusting. The spandex will provide the stretch you may need between feeds during the night. Sleep leisure bras are super comfortable and provide quick access for nursing without being bulky. More
As we head into the new year, we’re looking back at the most popular posts from each of our columns from 2012. Whether you’re just joining us as a newly expecting parent or continuing in your parenting journey, we think you’ll find these stories helpful to reaching your breastfeeding goals!
The 3 Breastfeeding Products I Couldn’t Have Lived Without
If you plan to, or are breastfeeding, the most basic gear will do – you, your boobs and your baby! However, there are some amazing products to lean on that can help tune you in to your babe’s signals, master the amazing ways in which you fit together, help you drive a healthy milk supply and master a great latch, so that you get your goal – a contented thriving baby and mom! We asked our Best for Babes followers what essential baby item they couldn’t have lived without.
Keeping Cool with Breastfeeding Talk
Because breastfeeding tends to be push some major buttons, even among friends, it’s a good idea to watch the words you use when discussing it. So, while you’re cooling your jets in the pool, at the beach, or at family get-togethers, here are a few tips for expecting moms, nursing moms and bottle-feeding moms to keep the dialogue from becoming too heated.
Breastfeed a Toddler? Why?
Most mothers plan to nurse their baby at least six or 12 months, but did you know there are myriad benefits for breastfeeding a toddler?
Best Positions For Nursing
Sometimes things come easily. Sometimes they don’t. And breastfeeding can just be one of those trial and error situations.You have to figure out what position works best for you and your baby. Luckily, you’ve got several options!
Sharing Breastfeeding Gear
What breastfeeding gear is safe to share? Get the details.
There’s nothing sweeter than nestling in for the holidays with your baby. But for most of us, the season also means store hopping to shop for good prices, decorating, visiting family and friends, and even flights, and long road trips. Sometimes getting to sit down and relax seems like a luxury that’ll have to wait until after we have rung in the New Year and taken the lights and tree down!
When you’re a nursing mom, all of that hubbub can potentially come with a price. No mother should have to choose between the pleasures (and the guilty ones) of the holiday season and the joy her baby brings her. This is the season of giving and love after all! But skipping feedings because you’re busy making your decorations Pinterest-Perfect, have unsupportive relatives and friends, or don’t feel like there are “safe” places to nurse when you’re traveling, out shopping, or in someone else’s home can make breastfeeding challenging. Lucky for you Booby Traps busting is our business, and we’ve got some ideas to share that will help you keep your supply high, your baby and your boobs happy, and the mood merry! Here’s how not to let the holidays Booby Trap breastfeeding!
The holiday season is filled with special occasions and parties – from office gatherings to family dinners, and black tie events to New Year’s Eve countdowns. Deciding what to wear can be exciting, but it may take a little more planning and strategy for a nursing mom.
Never fear, mamas! Just because you’re nursing, you do not have to give up on style. We’ve put together what we call “the stylish mom’s holiday nursing essentials” – key pieces that look great, and won’t take 10 minutes or Houdini moves to take off when your baby wants to eat.
If you plan to, or are breastfeeding, the most basic gear will do – you, your boobs and your baby! Breastfeeding really is all about the “un-rules” — especially during the early days and weeks of the Learning Curve when you’ll find that getting-to-good in the newborn game – especially if your breastfeeding – usually requires you to lead more from your heart and instinct than from your head and heaps of baby shower gifts. However, there are some amazing products to lean on that can help tune you in to your babe’s signals, master the amazing ways in which you fit together, help you drive a healthy milk supply and master a great latch, so that you get your goal –a contented thriving baby and mom! So, if you’re in the market or the mood to buy for your baby, make that shopping spree something that delivers bennies for breastfeeding and your sanity! We asked our Best for Babes followers what essential baby item they couldn’t have lived without. Here are some top picks (and we wholeheartedly agree!)… More
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year if you’re expecting or are breastfeeding. The mood is gratitude, the warm cheer and the festivities abound, and everyone wants to pass your little butterball around the table for a taste of that deliciousness! I remember it well since my son arrived just a few days before the turkey and it was the perfect time to cuddle up and get cozy at home with him while we learned the ropes of breastfeeding! If you’re new to the game of mom and nursing, or planning on hosting or traveling for the holiday, you might be wondering how you can keep your supply high and your spirits and energy up. Here are some great tips to help you enjoy breastfeeding during the holiday season.