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No matter how or why you pump, pumping is a lot of work.
It definitely gets easier the more you do it, but it’s still very time-consuming.
Pumping at work makes for a more complicated workday, but in the end, it’s totally worth it all! Taking the extra time and energy to pump at work is a major mom win when it’s all over!
1. Talk to your boss before you leave or before you come back
Make sure you talk to your boss about the fact that you’ll need to pump during working hours. Do this before you begin maternity leave, or at least before you come back.
It’s best to go ahead and have a plan before you start the conversation with your boss. Be prepared to talk about things like the time and space you’ll need. Thankfully, when I returned to work, my boss at that time was very understanding and supportive. That made things SO much easier.
2. If necessary, talk to your coworkers
You can totally skip this step if you don’t work very closely with your coworkers.
When I pumped at work, I was an elementary school teacher and worked pretty closely with my team. They helped out by doing things like video calling me during meetings while I was pumping. They were the best team, so supportive!
If you think you’ll need help from any of your coworkers when you have to pump, talk to them. Otherwise, it’s none of their business.
3. Keep an extra pump at work.
One of the worst things you can do while pumping at work is forgetting your pump.
Having an extra pump at work can really save you! Especially the one morning (or two) you’re rushing out the door and accidentally forget your pump. Or when you leave it at work by mistake.
On the plus side, if you have a pump that stays at work, it’s one less thing you’ll have to tote to and from work!
4. Purchase extra pump parts to keep at work
If you aren’t able to keep an extra pump at work, you most definitely need to get extra parts to keep there!
One day at work, as I was about to pump, I realized that I had all but one part. That’s when the panic set in. Thankfully, I was able to run home quickly to get that part I needed and pump in the car on the way back to work.
I never wanted that to happen again, so I ordered extra parts that day! I kept them at work in case something like that ever happened again.
5. A list of everything you need for the next day
Remembering every single thing you need for yourself and your kids each morning can be tough. It always seemed like I had a million things to remember before I left for work each morning.
Making a list of all the things you need to have before you walk out the door is so helpful. Refer to it each morning, and you’ll never forget anything!
6. Have a safe place for your milk
Make sure you have a place at work to keep your milk chilled. Be sure it’s in a place you can trust. Also, make sure you trust anyone who has access to where you’re keeping it.
7. Pack the night before
One thing that helped me out the most in the morning was having as much packed the night before as possible.
Go ahead and pack up all your work stuff, diaper bags, book bags, and your pump bag and have them waiting by the door. You can easily add the last few things in the morning and quickly get out the door!
8. Keep pump parts in the fridge or cooler to save time
My life changed when I learned this trick! When you’re finished pumping, keep your pump parts all connected. Then, put them in a ziplock bag, and pop them into the fridge or cooler.
When you are ready for your next pumping session, your pump parts are ready to go! This will save you a little bit of time before and after each pumping session.
9. Wear pump-friendly clothes
Finding pump-friendly clothes to wear to work can be difficult. You just wanna look cute in the new dress you bought. Then you get to work and realize you’ll pretty much be wearing nothing once you lift it up to pump. Yep, I did that! It was the last time I wore a dress for a while!
Just remember when you’re getting dressed that you’ll be undressing a little a few times each day. Wear something that’ll make it easy!
Don’t forget your pumping bra! This will allow you to be hands-free so you can still get work done.
10. Know your state’s laws on pumping at work, and don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and your baby
I know, you’re thinking. Why would I need to know this? I’m pumping milk to feed my BABY. How could this possibly be a problem? Who in their right mind would have an issue with this?
Well, let me just tell you… there are some real low-life, evil people in this world. And I had one of those low lives as my boss! For some reason, he woke up one morning thinking he could tell me that I wasn’t allowed to pump milk to feed my baby anymore. He just didn’t know that he chose the wrong person to say that to.
I had the luxury of working with a boss who made sure I was able to pump whenever I needed to, and the misery of working with the opposite. Don’t ever assume that there won’t be an issue with you needing to pump.
I really hope you NEVER have to go through what I went through. But if you do, stand up, use your voice, fight for yourself and your baby. Use this website to find out what your state laws are for pumping in the workplace.
And if you are ever in a similar situation and need someone to talk to or get advice from, I’m here for you, girl! Don’t hesitate to reach out!