Milk Production while Working
To help you get organized for going back to work, you’ll want to consider what you’ll need for pumping at work and storing milk there. The essentials you’ll want to consider for pumping at work are: a private, comfortable place to pump; selecting a breast pump to fit your needs; scheduling breast pumping sessions into your work day; and storing your breast milk.
First, find a place where you can relax and have some privacy for pumping at work. Ask if your workplace has a lactation room. If not, ask about a private office, empty conference room, storage room or lounge with an electrical outlet. Federal laws now require that workplaces provide a private place for pumping at work.
You will also need access to a place to wash your hands and your pump parts. If you cannot locate a place to wash your pump parts, consider having a few pump kits to use throughout the day and then wash them when you get home.
A Breast Pump to Fit Your Needs
If you’ll be pumping at work, plan to get a quality breast pump. Keep in mind that formula costs nearly $2,000 for the first year. A good pump saves far more money than it costs. What pump is right for you?
- Avoid used or borrowed mother-owned pumps, which may be worn out and unsafe to share.
- For moms working 30-40+ hours per week, the best choice is usually an automatic double pump that provides at least 40-60 automatic suction-and-release cycles per minute. This may be a hospital-grade, multi-user pump or a top-quality personal pump like an Ameda Purely Yours® or Ameda Purely Yours Ultra™ breast pump.
- For moms working full time, using a lesser quality electric breast pump or manual pump may result in a gradually decreasing milk production.
- For moms working part-time and pumping at work once a day or less often, cheaper pumps may work well enough. Buy the best pump you can afford.
Break Times for Pumping at Work
- If double-pumping at work, allow about 20 minutes, 10-15 min. to pump and 5 min. to wash and rinse your pump parts.
- To cut down on clean-up time, buy extra pump parts. With enough sets, you can wash them all in the dishwasher when you get home at night.
- How many times should you pump at work? Divide the number of hours you’re away from baby (include travel) by three. Some mothers find they can keep up their milk supply with fewer.
Place to Store Your Breast Milk
- If your milk is stored in a room that’s 66-72° F (19-22° C), it can stay uncooled for 6-10 hours.
- To cool your milk, use an insulated pump cooler case, cooler bag or refrigerator.
This is general information and does not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. If you have a problem you cannot solve quickly, seek help right away. Every baby is different. If in doubt, contact your physician or healthcare provider.