A Complete Guide On Expressing Breast Milk At Work
Returning to work is around the corner and you are probably wondering how are you going to express milk for your baby. Well not to worry, it doesn’t need to be as confusing as it seems. Your baby will still be able to benefit from your breast milk once you return to work.
Herewith is a complete guide on expressing breast milk at work :
1. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
The first and most important thing that you will have to do is find out by your employer if they will allow you the time to express at work. By law you are entitled to 2 x 30 minute breaks to express and can continue with it until your baby is 6 months old.
If your employer is reluctant to give you the extra time, you unfortunately will have to make use of your lunch and or break times.
4. CLEAN AND COSY ENVIRONMENT
Secondly, you need a clean and relaxing environment, like a meeting room or sick bay. Nobody by choice wants to make use of a public toilet to express milk for their baby. Find out if you can make use of the facilities at work. An alternative option is to express in your car. Just remember to hang blankets or towels in the window so that no one can see you.
3. EASY TO OPERATE BREAST PUMP
Ideally you will want to make use of a good quality electric breast pump. An electric breast pump is fast and will work in your favour considering that you will have limited time to express. If you don’t have an electric pump a manual hand pump will work just as fine. It will just take a little longer. Ensure to sterilize or wash your hands before you handle the pump to avoid getting any germs into contact with your babies milk. (Don’t forget your charger and cables).
4. MILK STORAGE BAGS OR BOTTLES
Pack in enough milk storage bags or bottles to store your expressed milk in. Make sure to check the bags before you leave your house. This is to ensure it doesn’t have any wholes in it to avoid leakage disappointment when you get home from work.
5. COOLER BAG
Use a nice insolated cooler bag with ice blocks to keep your milk cool. If you can safely store the expressed milk in a fridge you are lucky, but if you are scared that somebody might tamper with it rather keep the cooler bag at your desk or buy a small lock.
Take note that breastmilk can be safely stored at room temperature for up to 4 – 6 hours.
6. BE PREPARED
Remember to pack in an extra bra and some breast pads. When the milk let down fills your breasts it may leak and you don’t want your colleagues to see you walk around with an embarrassing wet shirt at work.
7. BREATH IN AND EXHALE
Find a comfortable chair or place to sit during expressing sessions. Make sure to be calm and relaxed when expressing. Being uncomfortable or stressed plays a big role in on how many milk you will be able to express forin your baby. Stress can decrease your milk supply and cause a slower milk flow.
7. ENJOY THE BENEFITS
Expressing breast milk has many benefits. It burns away all that unwanted calories that you gained during your pregnancy. lt also releases a hormone called Oxytocin. Oxytocin helps you feel happy and relaxed and has many more benefits for both mothers and babies.