Tag: postpartum
in Newborns

Pumping at Work: 10 Simple Tips to Make Your Experience Easier + Printable

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Are you a nursing mama who is heading back to work after maternity leave? Are you wondering how you will have the time and feeling overwhelmed by the thought of pumping at work? I know that feeling well and want to help! I have tried many things to save time and increase productivity while pumping. Here are some tips that worked for me!

 

 


1. Get an extra pump. (I use the Medela Pump In Style and love it, but there are several other options out there.)  You can also find a mom who is done with her pump and ask to borrow or purchase it. (Be sure to purchase new tubing to use with the pump.) Keep one pump at home and one pump at work or in the car. I promise it will be worth it. Not having to carry your pump to and from work every day will make your life a heck of a lot easier.


2. Purchase extra pump supplies. Purchase an extra set of pump supplies and bottles. Again, keep one set at home and one at work.  This will prevent you from the dreaded day you forget your supplies and have no way to pump! (Not an experience I ever want to re-live!) Be sure to bring dish soap and a bottle brush with you to work so that you can sanitize your pump supplies after using them.


In the end I actually purchased three sets of pump supplies so that if one set was dirty, I didn’t have to scramble to wash it before pumping.


3. Pump in the car. I always felt pumping took up so much time that I could be using to do something else. I always had to remind myself that I am producing essential nutrients for my little human being to survive. This is not a waste of time. However, sitting down for 30 minutes when you are just heading back to work can feel like an eternity. I used my 30 minute drive to and from work to pump (hands-free, of course) so that I could get in two extra sessions and not feel like I was losing out on time in my day. Be sure to purchase a car adapter if you plan to do this!


4. Pump into milk storage bags. Instead of pumping into the bottles that come with your pump. Try using these pump and save breastmilk bags to pump your milk straight into your milk storage bags. This way they are all ready to be put in the freezer to store for later. This saves you time having to transfer the milk and wash more bottles later.


5. Pump hands free. I don’t know about you, but I always had to pump over my already tight lunch break. I loved pumping hands free so that I could eat (or work) at the same time. There are many ways to situate your tank top or shirt to hold your pump in place, which is what I did most of the time. However, if you want to prevent spills and loss of milk I would recommend using a hands free pumping bra to pump hands free.


6. Store your pump parts in the fridge in between pumping sessions. Save yourself some more time having to wash pump parts by storing them in the fridge between sessions. You can also use Medela’s Quick Clean Pump and Accessory Wipes to clean your pump parts quickly and easily between sessions. I would still recommend sanitizing parts after 2 sessions.


7. Sanitize your pump parts with these Medela Micro Steam Bags . Don’t have time to sanitize your pump parts every time you use them? Quickly wash them, and stick them in this bag with some water. Microwave for recommended amount of time. Parts will be steamed and sanitized for your next session.


8. Consider a hands free pumping system. While the hands free bra is great and all, you still have two bottles sticking out from your chest. This makes it hard to avoid the fact that your main activity at the time is PUMPING. The Freemie hands free and concealable breast funnels are compatible with most breast pumps out there!  Freemie breast funnels are made from polypropylene, which is softer than the normal pump shields. It also sits nicely in your bra or tank top and feels a little more natural than pumping into bottles. I have never personally tried this product as I didn’t know about it when I had my babies, but I will for sure be purchasing it if we have more kids! If you have tried it, please leave a comment below and tell me how you liked it.


9. Get a stylish nursing cover. You will find yourself pumping in places you never thought possible, my favorite was always the car. I absolutely love these stylish nursing covers that can also be used as an infinity scarf, shopping cart cover, or car seat cover! Being that it is so versatile, I seem to have it with me at all times and always find a need for it. Just be sure to wash it often!


10. Relax. Many professionals will tell you to pump every time you would normally feed your baby. However, many working moms will tell you THIS IS NOT ALWAYS POSSIBLE. While at work it is easy to get caught up in the many things you need to accomplish in a day so you can leave and get home on time. Try to set a reasonable pumping schedule that works for you. Make pumping your priority at those times but if you miss a session, don’t freak out. If you can only fit in a 10-minute session here and there, do it! Short pumping sessions are better than nothing. The point is, don’t get caught up in the rules and schedules of pumping at work. Do what you can, and do what works for you!


You got this mama!!

 

Oh, and don’t forget to download your free printable for working + pumping mamas!

Just Click Here!

Working + Pumping Mama Printable

 


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in Newborns

How to Avoid Mom Guilt

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That dreadful feeling you have every time you aren’t with your child? It has a name. Mom Guilt. Some moms experience mom guilt at higher levels than others or for different reasons. This in no way makes you a better or worse mom than the next. It is simply something that comes with being a mom. There are several situations that might cause a mom to feel guilt. Being a working mom, being stay at home mom not bringing in any income, having a date night without the kids, not breastfeeding, or breastfeeding and hating it. The list could go on and on for miles. Heck, I am sitting here writing after my kids are in bed and I am feeling guilt that I am not getting more sleep in order to have more energy for my kids. Ridiculous, right? Us moms should be able to do things for ourselves without feeling guilty. So, I have compiled a short list of things that can help lessen the dreaded mom guilt.

 

 

Be intentional and engaged

I find my mom guilt is at it’s worst when I know I wasn’t completely engaged with my kids that day. Be intentional about focusing your attention on the kids while they are awake. Try leaving your electronic devices in your bedroom. If you feel uncomfortable not having your phone, check it briefly at planned intervals throughout the day.

Try to wake up shortly before the kids and get a few chores done. This will help you feel like you have accomplished something, leaving more time to spend time with your kids. Knowing that you are usually 100% engaged with your kids will lessen the guilt when you need some time for yourself.

 

Stop comparing yourself to other moms

I remember when I had my daughter I would see other moms  with their newborn, smiling in Facebook photos at a baseball game or trying out a new restaurant. I would automatically feel like I wasn’t as good of a mom because I couldn’t fathom taking my colicky newborn in a crowded public place. The thought would send my anxiety levels through the roof! It wasn’t until I had my second child, who is much more easy going that I understood how this could be done. Remember, every child is different, every mom is different, and every situation is different.  I should also note here that this can be a viscous cycle. As moms, we tend to post the highlights of our day while leaving out the messy aspects of real life. This is all great and fine but let’s all remember to be real with each other too. Help each other out, and lift each other up at the same time. We are all in this together!

 

 

Create a routine

Having a plan for your day always helps. You may or may not get much accomplished, but if you have a plan, at least you know you have accomplished something.Having a similar routine each day will help you to get more accomplished and the kids will learn what they can expect each day.

  • Weather you work out, chat with a friend, sip a cup of coffee, or watch an episode of your favorite TV show, carve out some time for yourself each day. Maybe it is during nap time or when the kids go down for the night. Knowing you will have time for yourself at some point in the day helps you to focus more on the kids when they are awake.
  • Plan what times of day you will do some cleaning and how much. You may just plan to deep clean one room (or thing) a day, and that may be all you can fit in. That is okay! Write it in your plan so that you know what you need to get done and what can wait.
  • Finally, plan out some activities for the kids. I like to plan a small activity in the morning, like outdoor play, and a longer activity in the afternoon, like going to the pool. Plan to stay focused on the kids 100% during this time.

Check out my sample daily routine below!

Daily Routine

 

Just do it

If you are feeling guilt about going out and not being with your kids 24/7, ignore the guilt. No matter how bad you are feeling at first, just do it. Go out with your girlfriends, hire a babysitter while you get out with your hubby or significant other, go sit and have coffee alone. You may feel guilty for a little bit, but chances are, if you do something you enjoy you will end up having a great time and you won’t regret it. In fact, it may be just what you needed to come back to your kids feeling refreshed and ready to give them 100% again.

 

If you are having guilt about your work situation or breastfeeding, remember, there is a reason that you are doing what you are doing. Don’t let your guilt get in the way of what is best for your family. If you feel the guilt is because you are doing something you shouldn’t be or not doing something you should be, maybe it is time to make a change. Take some time to evaluate the situation and weather or not it is the right thing for you and your family. If not, take steps to make the change!

 

 

Give yourself some grace

Remember, you are human. You have needs just like your kids do. You cannot meet the needs of your children without meeting yours too. Trust me, if you take care of yourself you will be a better mom for it. It’s really a win-win for everyone!

Do you ever struggle with this feeling of mom guilt? Is there something you do to keep it at bay? If so, tell us about it in the comments below. We can all benefit from other mom’s words of wisdom.

 

Please join me on Instagram and like my Facebook page to be a part of a wonderful community of new moms!

 

 

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