Earlier this week I went walking with a sweet friend and we began discussing a few things we loved about motherhood, nursing being one of them. We then hit the topic of how I was already back working and she was starting back soon and I began to think, there are so many questions we as new moms have when it comes to this. So I thought I would reach out on a topic that is not something I would typically write about, but something that I think is very informative and important for those afraid to ask, as I was.

One of the biggest things I worried about when I was planning to return to work, was how Mason would get his milk supply? I worried about switching to formula because my milk was coming in so well and there is such a strong level of bonding that brings me such peace when I get to nurse my sweet guy.

A few things to remember... I am no expert... I am simply a new mom who searched the internet high and low to find the information that I was needing. I didn't really find what I was looking for so I thought I would write what I have found to be most helpful. Also, I know breastfeeding can be such a sensitive topic as some mothers physically can't, choose not to or don't have the type of work environment where they can do it and store the milk properly. So take what you need + let me know what tips and tricks help you best, we have to stick together here! 


1. First and foremost, GET YOUR BABY READY... this is something that my mom told me as soon as I began pumping. But while you're away working, your caregiver will be feeding the baby from a bottle, and without a little help... it doesn't always come natural. You might here conflicting advice about when to introduce the bottle but, use your motherly instinct. You're typically right. They say you shouldn't introduce the bottle in the first month or so but, if you're like me... I returned to work at 1 month and wasn't given that option. So I waited until he was latching on great and then decided the time was right. I was so nervous that my stress level would hit the roof when I returned to work, constantly worrying about if he was eating enough, how is days were going and if he was thriving. Taking the time to help him learn to bottle feed was such a relief for me and it was one less thing that I had to worry about.


2. MAKE A PLAN, this was easy for me... as I am a planner. Though for some, it's more of a chore... but I promise it will help you in the long run. For me, the week before I returned to work I made a point of scheduling an appointment with HR to plan on me using 1/2 days (Vacation + Other), for the first two weeks of work to figure a few things out. How would pumping work while being caught up in the chaotic daily work routines? Would I have to change my wardrobe? What will I do with out sweet baby cuddles at all hours of the day? It was a struggle. The next thing on the checklist - have them show you where you will be pumping. Make it your own. I currently pump in a data room, nothing but two rolling chairs make up the room, but it our remodel... it was the only room that didn't have a glass entrance. I made it my own by bringing a blanket from home, cardigan and a book. It's nice to feel a little more comfortable.

3. FIGURE OUT YOUR PUMPING TIMES + DON'T GET DISCOURAGED. This for me was hard, because while I was home... though we had a "schedule" Mase was only a month old when I had to return to work, so... to say that it was set in stone and completely figured out was a joke... I am just now getting in a routine, but I did have to set about 10 alarms for every 2 hours so I would make sure to keep up with the time. I do have to say, MAKE SURE that you make pumping a priority, that was probably the hardest thing for me... I would be so deep into a spreadsheet or project that I would say, "just let me finish this one thing" or "i'll go in 10 minutes"... Which would lead to an hour later making my schedule an hour off and my milk would be in shorter supply and I would not be able to get my third pump in because it would cut to close to Masons 6 P.M. feeding. But you will have to figure out what works for you... I only need to pump for about 15 minutes, 3 times a day if I do a standard 9-5 giving me about 5-6 oz. each time, but as my supply increases I can tell I will have to go up to about 4 times a day. I also had a really tough time if I was a little late or early to pump and my milk wasn't the desired 6 oz. of liquid gold that I had been craving... I had to remind myself that it was still the beginning, and that no matter what even though there is some sort of stigma around the dreaded "F" word (formula), that if that is what I had to change to or substitute for one or two times a day that there is nothing wrong with it. 

4.  GET A STYLISH BAG + FILL IT WITH THE RIGHT THINGS, you deserve it. And it's something that is on my wishlist... for a few reasons actually. For one, I currently have the Medela Pump In Style back pack. It was a gifted pump and the pump is actually amazing! But the bag doesn't hold my daily set of parts, Kiinde attachments, steam bags, cooler, bras and burp cloth for cleaning. People also ask me e v e r y  s i n g l e  t i m e "are you leaving for the day"... "what is this college"... "where have you been"... really, still? haha. But, it also gives me 3 bags to bring in to the office. If you get a bag like the one I have had my eyes on *THIS ONE* it doubles as both a pumping bag + a purse. Holding not only your pump parts, but the cooler, wipes + bags to clean the parts and the burp cloth. Making it look a little less obvious that you're a milk cow for 30+ minutes of the day making meals for your sweet little. It also allows you to feel a little more excited about the good that you're doing. (This is not a must, but i definitely think if you are planning to pump for the long haul and traveling with it, that it's definitely worth it). What goes in your bag? A pumping bra, 2 sets of pumping parts, a cooler for your pumped milk, a healthy snack if your working though lunch to pump, pictures of your little or an iPhone filled with your pictures and videos, wipes to clean the parts and/or steam bags, milk storage parts (bags or bottles), a book and I tend to keep a blanket or burp rag in the bag so that I can make sure not to dirty up my work clothes.

5. FIND WHAT PRODUCTS WORK FOR YOU. For me, this is where the Kiinde Twist bags + cooler have changed my life, (I have expressed my love for Kiinde multiple times and still swear by it). The bags make my life so easy at work allowing me to place them in the cooler located in my bag or in the office freezer allowing me to take them home nightly, but not ruining if I happen to leave them up there. I also obsess over my Simple Wishes bra that was a hand-me-down from my sweet sister, Medela Pump In Style - double pump and steam bags. 



Earlier this week I went walking with a sweet friend and we began discussing a few things we loved about motherhood, nursing being one of them. We then hit the topic of how I was already back working and she was starting back soon and I began to think, there are so many questions we as new moms have when it comes to this. So I thought I would reach out on a topic that is not something I would typically write about, but something that I think is very informative and important for those afraid to ask, as I was.

One of the biggest things I worried about when I was planning to return to work, was how Mason would get his milk supply? I worried about switching to formula because my milk was coming in so well and there is such a strong level of bonding that brings me such peace when I get to nurse my sweet guy.

A few things to remember... I am no expert... I am simply a new mom who searched the internet high and low to find the information that I was needing. I didn't really find what I was looking for so I thought I would write what I have found to be most helpful. Also, I know breastfeeding can be such a sensitive topic as some mothers physically can't, choose not to or don't have the type of work environment where they can do it and store the milk properly. So take what you need + let me know what tips and tricks help you best, we have to stick together here! 


1. First and foremost, GET YOUR BABY READY... this is something that my mom told me as soon as I began pumping. But while you're away working, your caregiver will be feeding the baby from a bottle, and without a little help... it doesn't always come natural. You might here conflicting advice about when to introduce the bottle but, use your motherly instinct. You're typically right. They say you shouldn't introduce the bottle in the first month or so but, if you're like me... I returned to work at 1 month and wasn't given that option. So I waited until he was latching on great and then decided the time was right. I was so nervous that my stress level would hit the roof when I returned to work, constantly worrying about if he was eating enough, how is days were going and if he was thriving. Taking the time to help him learn to bottle feed was such a relief for me and it was one less thing that I had to worry about.


2. MAKE A PLAN, this was easy for me... as I am a planner. Though for some, it's more of a chore... but I promise it will help you in the long run. For me, the week before I returned to work I made a point of scheduling an appointment with HR to plan on me using 1/2 days (Vacation + Other), for the first two weeks of work to figure a few things out. How would pumping work while being caught up in the chaotic daily work routines? Would I have to change my wardrobe? What will I do with out sweet baby cuddles at all hours of the day? It was a struggle. The next thing on the checklist - have them show you where you will be pumping. Make it your own. I currently pump in a data room, nothing but two rolling chairs make up the room, but it our remodel... it was the only room that didn't have a glass entrance. I made it my own by bringing a blanket from home, cardigan and a book. It's nice to feel a little more comfortable.

3. FIGURE OUT YOUR PUMPING TIMES + DON'T GET DISCOURAGED. This for me was hard, because while I was home... though we had a "schedule" Mase was only a month old when I had to return to work, so... to say that it was set in stone and completely figured out was a joke... I am just now getting in a routine, but I did have to set about 10 alarms for every 2 hours so I would make sure to keep up with the time. I do have to say, MAKE SURE that you make pumping a priority, that was probably the hardest thing for me... I would be so deep into a spreadsheet or project that I would say, "just let me finish this one thing" or "i'll go in 10 minutes"... Which would lead to an hour later making my schedule an hour off and my milk would be in shorter supply and I would not be able to get my third pump in because it would cut to close to Masons 6 P.M. feeding. But you will have to figure out what works for you... I only need to pump for about 15 minutes, 3 times a day if I do a standard 9-5 giving me about 5-6 oz. each time, but as my supply increases I can tell I will have to go up to about 4 times a day. I also had a really tough time if I was a little late or early to pump and my milk wasn't the desired 6 oz. of liquid gold that I had been craving... I had to remind myself that it was still the beginning, and that no matter what even though there is some sort of stigma around the dreaded "F" word (formula), that if that is what I had to change to or substitute for one or two times a day that there is nothing wrong with it. 

4.  GET A STYLISH BAG + FILL IT WITH THE RIGHT THINGS, you deserve it. And it's something that is on my wishlist... for a few reasons actually. For one, I currently have the Medela Pump In Style back pack. It was a gifted pump and the pump is actually amazing! But the bag doesn't hold my daily set of parts, Kiinde attachments, steam bags, cooler, bras and burp cloth for cleaning. People also ask me e v e r y  s i n g l e  t i m e "are you leaving for the day"... "what is this college"... "where have you been"... really, still? haha. But, it also gives me 3 bags to bring in to the office. If you get a bag like the one I have had my eyes on *THIS ONE* it doubles as both a pumping bag + a purse. Holding not only your pump parts, but the cooler, wipes + bags to clean the parts and the burp cloth. Making it look a little less obvious that you're a milk cow for 30+ minutes of the day making meals for your sweet little. It also allows you to feel a little more excited about the good that you're doing. (This is not a must, but i definitely think if you are planning to pump for the long haul and traveling with it, that it's definitely worth it). What goes in your bag? A pumping bra, 2 sets of pumping parts, a cooler for your pumped milk, a healthy snack if your working though lunch to pump, pictures of your little or an iPhone filled with your pictures and videos, wipes to clean the parts and/or steam bags, milk storage parts (bags or bottles), a book and I tend to keep a blanket or burp rag in the bag so that I can make sure not to dirty up my work clothes.

5. FIND WHAT PRODUCTS WORK FOR YOU. For me, this is where the Kiinde Twist bags + cooler have changed my life, (I have expressed my love for Kiinde multiple times and still swear by it). The bags make my life so easy at work allowing me to place them in the cooler located in my bag or in the office freezer allowing me to take them home nightly, but not ruining if I happen to leave them up there. I also obsess over my Simple Wishes bra that was a hand-me-down from my sweet sister, Medela Pump In Style - double pump and steam bags. 

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