Breastfeeding at Work, the Importance of Self-Care

If you’re working full-time you are spending forty hours or more at the office a week. Add on being a full-time mommy, and keeping up with your breastfeeding schedule. You have a lot going on. No denial about it. As a mother breastfeeding your child, it’s important for you to take the time to treat yourself right. While back at the work you might become forgetful and get caught up in material you had missed while gone. You might forget to eat lunch or take a break, but it’s very significant for women who are breastfeeding to relax and stay healthy; although, it seems like a hard thing to do.

Taking care of your body is just as important regardless if you are breastfeeding or not, but working mommas know stress can build up when you have a million and one things you need to take care of in one day. Following our previous post, “Is Your Workplace Breastfeeding Friendly?” you already know what questions to ask your workplace about your breastfeeding needs. You should be well prepared and ready to go. Now, take in consideration your time at work and what you need to do to be the best mom you can be to your baby, and also, the best YOU you can be. Here are some tips you can use to stay on top of you game while breastfeeding and staying a healthy momma as well:

Breastfeeding at Work, the Importance of Self-CareBreastfeeding at Work Check List

  1. Make a priority list: Before you being your day at work make a list of your priorities you expect to get done. Making a list will keep you organized and on top of things. It will feel good crossing things off and feeling accomplished after being gone those few months.
  2. Keep your expectations realistic: If you work an eight hour shift each day you should be breast pumping at least three times a day for about 20 minutes each time. This can be stressful if you have things you need to get done at work. Don’t be too hard on yourself and feel as if you need to get things done right away. To keep your stress levels low take one step at a time. It’s important you don’t forget about breast pumping, and make sure to put it in your priority list each day.
  3. Make healthier choices: Instead of ordering take out, pack yourself a salad or something a little healthier. It’s important to feed your body the nutrients it needs because while you’re breastfeeding, and taking care of a little one, you will need the extra energy. Instead of running to the vending machine, make sure you have snacks at your desk for the times when you get hungry. You’ll feel much better afterwards anyway, and guilt free by saying NO to the salty potato chips! (And if you don’t have one, make yourself a Pinterest account. You will be able to find thousands of healthy lunch and snack ideas for breastfeeding moms. There are yummy lactation recipes on there too.)
  4. Stay hydrated: Keep a few bottles of water in your desk as well. It’s important to drink plenty of water even if you’re not breastfeeding. Although the amount of liquid you take in won’t determine the amount of breast milk you produce, it’s still vital to drink when you are thirsty and keep up with supplying your body with the proper amount of fluids.
  5. NEVER skip pumps: Even if you’re tired, or if it’s just one of those days where it seems like you aren’t going to get everything done, NEVER skip your time to pump. If you want your body to become used to generating a certain amount of breast milk each day this is the most important rule to follow! Your milk supply can actually decrease if you are not ordering yourself to keep up with your pump plan. Pumping the same amount of milk each day will help with your stress, and take away the worry if whether or not you will produce enough milk for your baby.
  6. It’s okay to say no: With your busy schedule you can’t possibly take on everything you want to do. As long as it’s good for your company, and yourself, it’s okay to turn something down that isn’t on the top of your priority list. And if there is a work meeting that isn’t mandatory and it interferes with your pumping schedule, it’s okay to miss it. Ask one of your coworkers for a summary afterwards.
  7. Ask for help: Never be afraid to ask for help when you’re starting to feel overwhelmed. Talk to your supervisor about ways you can manage your time at work while you breast pump.

Now this will be the main thing to take away from this post: while you are breast pumping take a second, put the IPhone down, push aside the tablet, close your eyes for a minute and relax. This is a great time to pick up a good book or breathe for a minute during your busy schedule of being a new mommy. This isn’t just an important rule to follow for your health, but also an imperative part of producing, and maintaining the proper amount of milk for your baby. Research has shown women who actually take the time to rest produce more milk than those who are constantly running around!