Whether you’re a working or a stay-at-home mom, pumping plays a key role in maintaining milk supply. When I made the announcement that my husband and I were expecting, I immediately told my employer that I planned on breastfeeding. I heard stories about moms pumping in the bathroom and decided early on that wasn’t going to be me. I began making arrangements to reserve a room as my due date approached.
My pumping space is neatly tucked away from everyone. I’ve been able to pump two to three times for about 20-30 minutes a session during my shift, and store my milk in a refrigerator.
It can be a bit tedious carrying all that gear and washing all the parts after each use. But, it’s worth it! I’ve spoken with other moms who’ve mentioned that they’ve tried doing the deed for a number of months, but later gave up because of their dwindling milk production.
Here are some helpful tips to keep your milk supply going while you nurse and pump.
1. Plan early. Once you make the announcement to your boss, arrange a quiet place to pump (not the bathroom).
2. Drink lots of water. Running after two little ones keeps me so busy that I forget. I keep a bottle with me at all times and sip throughout the day.
3. Pump and store. I want to avoid formula. I express my milk and store it in the freezer for backup whenever possible.
4. Nurse as much as possible. Not only does it increase our bond, nursing also stimulates my breasts and increases my production.
5. Speak up! If you work outside of the home and aren’t happy with your pumping conditions, express your concern. Your pumping experience should be comfortable.
6. Indulge your sweet tooth. There are plenty of cookie recipes that include the ingredient brewer’s yeast which is believed increase milk supply.
7 Vitamin supplements. I continue to take my prenatal vitamins to maintain my overall health. There is also Fenugreek that increases milk flow.
8. Drink lots of tea. In addition to consuming lots of water, I also drink a special lactation tea that helps with milk production.
9. Take a class. There are programs like Isis Parenting Starts Here that offers webinars on breastfeeding success. Participants are able to chat and share experiences with other nursing moms. They also offer an online Pump Talk course, which covers information on expressing, storing, feeding pumped milk, as well as how to increase milk production.
10. Maintain a healthy diet. Breastfeeding burns a lot of calories. I make up for it by consuming about 500 extra calories a day to keep my supply in check.