Did you know that August is National breastfeeding month? It’s time to recognize and celebrate breastfeeding. With a new baby here at Jessica Henman Attorney at Law, offices, you can bet that we are learning to navigate the new journey of motherhood/parenthood as well as being a working mom! Feeling inspired we thought, what better time to share 10 tips that might help other working moms who are breastfeeding!
We know you’ve got a lot going on, but don’t worry mama bear, you’ve got this! You’re not alone and we’ve got some tips to help you get through this.
Here are 10 tips for all you working mammas out there that are also breastfeeding, and likely pumping! You’ve got this, yes you do!
1. Talk to your Boss/Superior about your plans
Whether you’ll have your baby in the office with you requiring breastfeeding breaks, or you need to pump to maintain your supply for your baby at home, it’s a great idea to talk to your boss and direct manager to ensure an easy process, lots of understanding, and that you have the privacy to either breastfeed or pump.
If you don’t have your own office, make sure you are clear about your desire to take breaks to pump milk in a private room at the office, or to feed your baby.
Whatever your plans are, talking to HR and your supervisor about it should always be part of your plan!
2. Know your rights & fight for them
As we know, laws change and evolve, make sure you know what laws protect and support any part of your breastfeeding/pumping plan.
Federal law (FLSA §7) requires employers to provide reasonable break time and safe place for a non-exempt employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year. Just a friendly reminder that a safe place does not mean a bathroom stall.
Here in California, California law (LAB §1030) extends these protections to any employee for as long as the employee is nursing her child.
Learn more from our friends at the California Department of Public Health here.
Whether you’re in California or another state, learn what rights you have for breastfeeding/pumping at work and make sure to fight for them.
Get creative and work with your team to find a solution that works for you
3. Buy a Hands-free Pump
Trust us when we say, you want to get a hands-free pump, ideally even a hands free pumping bra, to make pumping at work a little easier! It will make everything feel less overwhelming. Allowing your hands to be free lets you continue to work, scroll your phone, read a book, or do whatever other multi-tasking you need to get done!
It’s a busy day in the life of work/life balance but it can be done easily with the right tools and support.
4. Practice at Home
Practice makes perfect exists for a reason! Sure, perfection doesn’t exist but the more we practice something, the easier it becomes. Practice pumping with your hand-free pumping bra or pump at home, so that when it’s time to do it when you’re back at the office, it will be as easy as possible.
It’s time to get the pumping party started!
Pro tip: Training your body and your baby for pumping and then taking a bottle, will take some time. Practicing this transition before going back to work will make everyone’s life easier!
5. Pump as often as your baby eats
Make sure that you are pumping every 3 hours (or as often as your baby eats) to make sure that you are maintaining your supply of milk!
6. Keep an extra stash of milk pads at the office
This is probably one of those things you’ve heard and thought of 2190382109832108 times but still forget to do. We all know that there will come a day and you will definitely leak through your shirt, and it will absolutely happen right before an important meeting.
Help yourself out and make sure to keep an extra stash of milk pads at the office, and if we’re being real, also your car, purse, and any place else that you may frequent.
It’s probably also always a good idea to have a back-up shirt, just in case.
You may not know when, but it will happen, so better be prepared for it.
7. Keep extra snacks on hand
Anyone who has breastfed will tell you that it takes a lot out of you! You may not be pregnant but you’re still eating for two! Moms producing milk are burning approx. 500 extra calories a day, so keep your snack jars filled and have them easily accessible! The more you’re pumping or breastfeeding, the more calories you’re going to burn.
8. Coolers and ice packs are your friends
What is a mamma to do with all her milk? Stash them a soft-sided cooler filled with ice packs so you can easily transport your milk to and from milk! Make sure you have enough ice packs to keep your milk cold during the commute both ways.
If you freeze it at work and then take it home, you might risk it thawing and then have to toss it. If you have enough ice packs to keep it chilled on ice, then it will stay good by the time your day is over and you make it home.
Your little one will appreciate all the love and effort you put into keeping them fed.
9. Schedule pumping sessions/breastfeeding sessions into your schedule
It’s super helpful to physically set alarms on your phone and in your work schedule to make sure that you ACTUALLY make the time to pump when you need to. Your body will tell you when it’s time but we often ignore those signs because it’s easy to keep working.
Listen to the alarms you’ve set and schedule you’ve made because your body needs the pump or nurse!
10. Expect the unexpected
When new families hire Jessica Henman, Attorney at Law for estate planning, they know the importance of planning for the unexpected. As new parents, as a new mom, you understand this really quickly.
There is nothing quite like the feeling you get when you first realize you leak through your shirt and you didn’t prepare with extra pads in the office.
There will likely be lots of fiascos before you get the hang of it, just know that’s okay!
Expect the unexpected (whatever it is) and know that you can learn from it, and tomorrow is another day!
11. Stay hydrated
It’s always a win-win to stay hydrated but staying hydrated while breastfeeding will ensure that you have the energy you need to get work done!
Having a go-to reusable water bottle that you keep in your purse or at your office is a great way to make sure you stay drinking while pumping and breastfeeding.
Pro-tip: make sure the reusable water bottle is filled WITH water BEFORE you start pumping or breastfeeding. It’s never fun to discover the water bottle you thoughtfully brought is empty. 😂 It’s important to stay hydrated WHILE you are breastfeeding or pumping.
Hopefully these 11 tips for a working mom that is breastfeeding is something that you can use as you can continue to celebrate National Breastfeeding Month.
Jessica Henman, Attorney at Law, is based in Chico, California (born and raised in fact) and is here to help out anyone in California. For more assistance please give me a call at (530) 520-3109 or email to set-up a time to talk about getting the right estate plan, trust, wills, and other documents for your family. Whether you’re a family with young kids or a family with grown ones, I can help you every step of the way.