August (Breastfeeding Awareness Month) is just around the corner and it will be all about breastfeeding and mothers around the world here on the blog.
I wanted to jumpstart things a little bit and highlight the working-pumping mom for a moment. I’ve created this 5 Tips To Help You Pump Like a Pro FREE printable. Please feel free to print it and share a link to this post with a friend.
Returning to work is one of the most stressful hurdles for a breastfeeding mother, understandably. But it can actually be a seamless transition with the right support from a professional.
Many new mamas aren’t familiar with how to properly use their pump so that they express as much milk as possible. Shields aren’t one size fits all, intense suction doesn’t equal more pumped milk, you may have trouble letting-down or getting your milk to flow when at work, and you’ll want training on how to identify worn out or faulty parts. Unless you’ve previously seen a lactation counselor or consultant you most likely don’t know how to address these concerns. They aren’t outlined in detail in the pump manual, most breast pump sellers don’t go through this when you purchase your pump, and every woman’s work like situation is different. If your pump isn’t properly maintained you won’t be able to pump enough milk. Seeing a lactation professional is a great source of comfort and a wealth of knowledge to a new mama.
Here’s a little bit of what happens at every Back To Work Consultation I do:
•Create a detailed pumping plan according to mamas work schedule and her baby’s feeding habits. The two don’t typically line up directly so I try and work my magic to make sure mom continues to make enough milk each day. We also create a plan so that mom isn’t pressed to pump uber amounts of milk that first week.
•Make a pump recommendation. This will vary based on how long mom will be away form her baby and whether she’s working full-time or part-time.
•I perform a check and maintenance on her breast pump.
•I’m then available for regular follow up consultations and unlimited phone support.
If your breasts aren’t receiving enough stimulation and removing what’s called, FIL, it will lead to a decrease in your supply. I’ve had COUNTLESS mamas come to me weeks after returning to work stating that their supply has dropped even though they’ve been pumping. After doing a check and getting a detailed history I discover many areas of concern usually. In addition to alleviating the issues identified, I many times need to comfort and reboot the confidence of the mama as well. Can you imagine putting in so much work and establishing a great supply and then once you return to work have it all go down hill? It’s completely disheartening and can all be avoided with a little assistance beforehand from a lactation specialist.
If you’re planning to return to work soon and would like to have a seamless transition to pumping, then schedule a consultation with a professional as soon as possible. A great lactation counselor will advise you on how to prepare for returning to work and stick with you throughout the journey.