Sunday, September 27, 2009

5 Biggest Mistakes Working & Pumping Moms Make

Welcome Carnival of Breastfeeding readers! Please be sure to scroll down to the end of this post to read through all of the blog posts on this month's topic, Working & Breastfeeding.

Going back to work after having a baby can be tough. Many of us, even if we love our careers, find it extremely difficult to leave our tiny babies in the care of others for 8 hours per day. For many moms, continuing to breastfeed after returning to work is a way to stay connected to your baby, even when you have to be apart for hours every day. Breastfeeding & working is no easy task, but you'll make it easier on yourself if you avoid the Top 5 Biggest Mistakes Working & Pumping Moms Make (AKA, Mistakes Elita Made Frequently While Working & Breastfeeding).


#1. Wearing a dress to work.
Unless you've invested in a dress made for nursing, you'll find yourself with a conundrum when you have to pump at work in a dress. To pull the dress up, scrunched at your shoulders, or pull it down, exposing your body from the waist up? It's a tough call and one you don't want to have to make. The good thing about this mistake is it's one you only make once. Trust me on this.

#2. Forgetting parts of your pump.
Who knew one teeny tiny piece of rubber could ruin your whole day? Forget a membrane at home and you'll be screwed. I suggest all moms learn the art of hand expressing, but most women do better with a double electric pump. Buy spare parts of your pump in bulk and stash them everywhere: desk drawers, your pump bag, briefcase, and car.

#3. Buying a cheap pump.
Although some women do really well with hand expression and manual pumps, in general it's best to invest in a good double electric. A double electric pump that only costs $50 is probably not going to cut it if you're working out of the home full-time. Scrimp and save, or ask your friends to chip in on the pump as a shower gift. If you're eligible for WIC, contact your local office. Sometimes you can rent a pump through them for free.

#4. Forgetting a bottle top.
Imagine, you've just spent the last 20 minutes pumping and you've got two bottles full of milk. You carefully place them in your bottle stand holder and dip into your pump bag for the bottle caps and realize you only have one. OK, so you can probably store the milk safely in your office's fridge, but how do you get the milk home? Again, keeping extras around of everything will keep you safe. Also stash some breast milk storage bags in your pump bags. You never know when you'll have an especially productive day and make loads of milk.

#5. Suffering in silence.
If your nipples hurt after every pumping session and you're literally sucking the skin off them, don't assume this is par for the course! Pumping ain't a joy ride, but it shouldn't hurt. Oil your pump flanges up with olive oil and be sure you're using the right size. Also, you don't have to pump on high! Try to mimic with the pump the way your baby nurses. A little faster and stronger until your milk lets down, then slower and longer to empty your breasts.

Don't miss the rest of this month's wonderful posts on working & breastfeeding!

My World Edenwild: Breastfeeding mothers need workplace support
Breastfeeding Moms Unite!: Breastfeeding at my family day care
The Milk Mama: A job where everyone breastfeeds
Momnesia the Book: Sorry, facilities guy!
Marshins: Taking your working boobs to work
Strocel: Working and breastfeeding a toddler
The Marketing Mama: Working and pumping
Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog: Breastfeeding & working is possible & you can make it work!
Chronicles of a Nursing Mom: Do you really need a pump?
Vanderbilt Wife: I think this officially makes me a Mommy Blogger
Stork Stories: My breast pump and I didn't get along
babyREADY: What about breastfeeding when I go back to work?
Mum Unplugged: This is a breastfeeding office
Best for Babes: Beating the employment booby trap
Breastfeeding 1-2-3: Tips for Breastfeeding & Working
Breastfeeding Mums: Breastfeeding & Working in the UK

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