Pumping is hard enough as it is. Now throw in a 9-5 workday, postpartum work outfits that are pumping friendly, lots of gear and little nipple suction dood-dads, and now it’s a total sh*t show. Fortunately, your good friends here at Babe are on the job to make it a little bit easier. Not only do we have pumping and nursing friendly workwear styles that make you look like the boss you are (even if you’re not feeling that way), but we’ve got the hacks that will make the whole time-to-pump-in-the-conference-room moment just a bit easier. (Just don’t forget to Slack your colleagues when you’re heading in!)
1. Keep it Private: It seems like a no brainer, but secure a private room or designated lactation room at work to ensure that you can pump in a comfortable and private setting. Don’t have one specifically laid out for it? Deem it for yourself and keep HR in the loop. If space is tight, book time in a meeting room on the shared calendar so everyone knows to steer clear.
2. Invest in a quality breast pump: A high-quality breast pump can make all the difference in your pumping experience. Look for a model that is efficient, comfortable, and easy to use. We love the Luna pump by Motif Medical. Outfitted with a battery that lasts over two hours between charges, this new Luna provides a new level of portability while still offering hospital grade suction for even the most robust eaters. Like the original Luna, the new battery-powered version is a closed system and offers comfort at the highest setting for a faster let-down, easy customization options, a built-in LED night light with three different settings, backflow protection and a quiet 43-decibel hum.
3. Use a hands-free pumping bra: A hands-free pumping bra can make it easier to multitask while pumping. Answer emails or take phone calls like a boss while your excreting liquid gold for your little. Don’t know where to turn? Our crew at HATCH has this hack figured out. With a seamless design in a finely ribbed modal blend, our Essential Nursing and Pumping Bra is crafted just for the occasion. The nursing clasp, adjustable straps, + pull-down design allow for seamless feeds, plus the front fabric overlap opens to discreet slits for pumping. Even better? It’s Oeko-Tex certified (aka, free of harmful chemicals).
4. Stock up on supplies: Make sure to have extra bottles, bags, and pump parts at work in case you forget something or need to pump more frequently than expected. But, before you head back to work, do some test driving with a few bottle brands to figure out which shapes, designs and nipple options work best for your babe. Peep Babylist’s Bottle Box, complete with samples of nanobébé, Comotomo, NUK, Dr. Brown’s and Olababy, is an awesome muse for your research.
5. Coordinate with your boss and colleagues: Talk to your boss and colleagues about your pumping needs and schedule to ensure that you can take breaks as needed. Moms in the majority of workplaces have the right to “break time” to pump breast milk at work. The Federal “break time” law applies to all companies with 50 or more employees; and to smaller companies unless they can prove that complying with the law would create an “undue hardship” – a very high bar to meet. A lot of states have laws that make this “break time” requirement stronger and more clear – you can see an up-to-date list of those laws on the website of the National Conference of State Legislators.
6. Manage your time effectively: Try to schedule your pumping sessions around your work schedule to minimize disruptions and ensure that you have enough time to pump.
7. Stay hydrated and well-nourished: Make sure to stay hydrated and well-fed throughout the day to maintain your milk supply and energy levels. Remember Family Status discrimination (also known as “Caregiver Discrimination”) protects people from being treated differently at work because of caregiving obligations or his or her role as a caregiver. This can include things like the stereotyping of mothers—characterizing them as less competent or able to do tough work; committed or less deserving of advancement, and not treating requests for schedule changes for pumping or caregiving in the same manner as other requests for schedule changes.
8. Take breaks when you need them: Don’t be afraid to take a break if you need it. Pumping can be stressful and tiring, so it’s important to take care of yourself. Check our our essentials for your postpartum recovery journey, because contrary to what this world wants you to think, you have needs too, and we’re here to help you honor them.
9. Stay positive and focused: Remember why you are pumping and try to stay positive and focused on your goals. Pumping at work can be challenging, but with the right mindset and tools, you can make it work. We promise.