First of all, congratulations! Welcome to the amazing world of motherhood and breastfeeding. Breastfeeding your baby can be a little overwhelming (regardless if it’s your first or second), but, it’s fun and fulfilling. So, to help you get back on track, we’re here to help you craft your back to work pumping schedule, as well as provide you other relevant information we thought you should also know.
Yes, we particularly dedicate this to you, working mom. Allow us to help you get back on your feet. We understand how life was like the past few weeks having your baby around and breastfeeding him/her. But, don’t you just love it? No matter how tiring it can be sometimes, by just looking at your kid, in a snap, you forget about it all.
So, since we feel you, mommy, we want to help you come up or at least give you an idea on how to make your back to work pumping schedule. We hope that through our simple gesture, we are able to give you and your baby more time to bond and be together – instead of spending more time on crafting or thinking about your back to work pumping schedule.
By the way, before moving on, as you prepare your back to work pumping schedule, please make sure that your company follows the law on breastfeeding at work. Also, check if your company has the facility to store milk while at work, as well as a dedicated room for expressing milk. This way, you’d know what to expect when you get back to work.
Why continue breastfeeding?
As you know by now that breast milk is best for babies. Medical practitioners highly recommend that mothers’ breastfeed their babies up to at least 6 months after birth. Breastmilk has all the nutrients and vitamins your baby needs according to his age.
Some people think that (direct) breastfeeding is “on demand”. While this may be true in some cases, this doesn’t apply to working moms. According to research, 62% of moms giving birth in the US in 2013 went back to work after giving birth. Most of them started working again within 3 to 6 months postpartum.
Then, what now? Should they stop breastfeeding? The answer is no. That is why breast pumping was invented – to specifically cater to moms who cannot directly feed on demand. In the same way that back to work pumping schedule became a thing – all for the love of a mom to her child.
We understand that while breastfeeding is important, being financially stable and capable is equally essential too. After all, there are bills to pay, right? Ideally, daddy should be able to provide. But, with the demands of the world and with the increasing bills and needs and wants too, both mommy and daddy should work and help each other out.
Now, going back to breastfeeding and creating a back to work pumping schedule, there are three commonly asked questions by working moms, which we are going to tackle one by one. These are:
- How often should mommy pump at work?
- How much milk should mommy produce each day?
- How to properly pack and store mommy’s milk to avoid spoilage?
These questions, by the way, will help you as you write down your back to work pumping schedule. The answers to these questions will give you an idea on what kind of back to work pumping schedule would work best for you.
How often should mommy pump at work?
When a mother returns to work before her baby turns 6 months old, it requires expressing milk at approximately every three hours. So, when for instance you work 8 hours a day, which technically means you will be separated from your baby for about ten hours including breaks and travel to and from work.
It is recommended that a working mom pumps or express milk thrice within the 10-hour period. This, supposedly covers the milk your baby needs within the whole time you are separated from each other.
With that, here is our suggested back to work pumping schedule. Please note that we put into consideration the assurance that there is enough milk for the baby. So, we included before and after work pumping sessions. But like we said, within the 10-hour that you are away from your child, mommy should pump at least thrice.
We made two versions for you to look into. The first one is the ideal pumping and breastfeeding sessions. The second one, it’s for mommies who could hardly find time to breastfeed their babies prior to leaving the house for work. You may choose whichever your preference is or you may use it as a guide in creating your own version.
Back to Work Pumping Schedule No. 1
|8:00||Leave for Work|
Back to Work Pumping Schedule No. 2
|6:30||Leave for Work|
Please note that the success of breastfeeding relies on the number of times the baby latches on you and the regularity of your pumping. No amount of supplements can overpower the signal that latching produces to your body to create more milk. Thus, we suggest that you be religious in following your breastfeeding and pumping routine both at home and at work.
How much milk should mommy produce each day?
According to studies, infants’ ages 6 weeks to 6 months consume approximately an ounce (30ml) per hour. So, if you are away for 10 hours every day, you should at least express or pump 10 ounces a day. But of course, the demand of the child really vary. So, better be sure. We highly recommend that instead of sticking to the 1 ounce = 1-hour rule, express a little extra.
Yes, you pump at least two more ounces of breastmilk every day to leave to your baby’s caregiver. So, that means, if you are away for 10 hours, you leave 12 ounces of milk. If you are away for 12 hours, you leave 12 ounces of milk, and so on. Always leave extra milk just in case your baby needs some more.
Remember though, that is just a portion of your baby’s breastmilk intake for the day as the rest will be coming directly from you once you’re home. Another reminder too is that a lot of infants or babies reverse cycle feed. That means, they get their primary calorie consumption at night. Welcome it as a massive method for maintaining supply. But don’t get overwhelmed, you will get by. Take it one day at a time while being prepared at the same time.
Now that you already know how much milk you need to pump every day, that means, ideally, in your pumping sessions at work, you get to express 10 ounces so that the milk you pumped before and after work will be part of your stash.
How to properly pack and store mommy’s milk to avoid spoilage?
Now that you already have a sample back to work pumping schedule and you already know how much milk you need to leave for your baby every time you are away for work, let’s move forward to how to properly pack and store your breastmilk.
Let’s start with packing milk at work. You actually have two choices. Either you use a reusable milk storage bottle or milk storage bags. You can buy these over online shops or at a baby store nearby. While at work, provided your company has a refrigerator specifically intended for breastmilk storage, you put your expressed milk in the refrigerator. You only put it out and transfer it to an insulated bag or cooler when you are already heading home.
To help ensure that the temperature will stay the same as you transport the milk, you may put ice packs – ideally dry ice or the ones they call jelly ice packs – in the insulated bag. That way, you are able to keep the freshness of your liquid gold.
Once you’re home, you can either put it in the ref or put it in the freezer. But, if you are going to feed it to your baby the next day, then, no need to put it in the freezer. For frozen breastmilk, we suggest thaw it by putting it in the ref the night before. By the time your baby’s caregiver needs to feed your baby, the milk is already in its liquid form.
For new moms, all of these can really get you in the nerve but hang in there. You will eventually master it. Remember to just stick to your back to work pumping schedule, and to keep in mind all the other essential information we put in here, and you are good to go.
This may be an extra mile for you, but as mommies, we do everything for our dear babies. Good luck, mommy!