YOU can start pumping and saving your breast milk stash six weeks after giving birth. Breastfeeding counselors say it is the best time to express and store because your supply has already been established.
But as your maternity leave is coming to an end, you also need to prepare yourself for going back to work. Yes, you can still exclusively breastfeed your child— pumping at work is the key.
Under the Republic Act 10028 or the “Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009,” lactating moms are entitled to a 40-minute “break intervals in addition to the regular time-off for meals to breastfeed or express milk.”
The best time to buy these essentials is while you are still pregnant. This is a very good investment rather than spending thousands of money on expensive formula milk every month.
Anyway, here are the basic essentials that a breastfeeding working mom needs:
1. Nursing/pumping bra - This will allow you to have an easy access while pumping. You can still use the computer or have your lactation drinks, without bothering to hold up the electric breast pump. Just insert the flanges and make sure the breast milk won’t spill.
2. Breast pads - Your breasts will leak especially if you forget to pump on your schedule. You don’t want to change clothes all the time just because it is wet. Breast pads will help a lot. You may use disposable or washable. I suggest use the washable — it’s environment-friendly; just make sure you wash and dry them properly after using.
3. Breast pump - You can choose between electric, manual, or silicon pump. Remember, not all breast pumps work for all breastfeeding moms. Choose one that is efficient and would work best on you.
4. Breast milk bags or storage cups - After pumping, transfer your liquid gold here. I prefer using the storage cups because they’re environment-friendly. Don’t forget to put label like the amount, and time and date.
5. Cooler/pump bag - There are pump bags that have insulator which will keep your breast milk cool for hours. But if you will use coolers, just make sure to put iced gel.
Here’s a tip (which I also tried and worked for me): While pumping, take time to watch videos or photos of your child. Others also bring their child’s clothes and smell over them. It will help you produce more milk. You got it, Mom!
[The writer will appreciate comments, questions, and story suggestions. Contact her through email@example.com, Ara Casas-Tumuran on Facebook, and @tumuranfamily on Instagram.]