For many new mothers, the decision to return to work after maternity leave can be both exciting and challenging, especially for those who are breastfeeding. Balancing work responsibilities while maintaining a breastfeeding routine requires careful planning and preparation. In this article, we’ll explore crucial tips to help breastfeeding moms smoothly transition back to the workplace while continuing their breastfeeding journey.


Know Your Legal Rights:

As a breastfeeding mom, it’s vital to be aware of your legal rights and protections in the workplace. In the United States, breastfeeding and pumping laws in the workplace are designed to support and accommodate nursing mothers. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are required to provide reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child. This break time should be provided for up to one year after the child’s birth. Additionally, employers must offer a private space, other than a bathroom, where nursing mothers can express milk. The space should be shielded from view and free from intrusion by coworkers or the public. Employers are not allowed to discriminate against employees who choose to breastfeed or pump at work, and they must provide these accommodations as needed without penalty or retaliation. It’s important for both employers and employees to be aware of these laws to ensure a smooth and supportive transition for nursing mothers returning to work.


Keep a Second Set of Pump Parts at Your Workspace:

Breast pumps are invaluable tools for breastfeeding moms who are returning to work. To streamline the pumping process and avoid potential hygiene concerns, consider having a second set of pump parts at your workplace. This way, you won’t need to carry all the equipment back and forth daily, reducing the chances of forgetting essential components. Having a designated set of pump parts at your workspace will make pumping sessions more efficient, giving you more time to focus on your work responsibilities.


Have an Extra Set of Clothes/Bra:

Leaking is a common occurrence for breastfeeding moms, and it’s essential to be prepared for it, especially at work. Pack an extra set of clothes and bras in your office drawer or locker to change into if needed. This proactive approach will not only save you from potential embarrassment but also prevent discomfort throughout the workday. Invest in nursing pads to place in your bra to help absorb any unexpected leaks discreetly.


Schedule Your Pump Sessions on Your Calendar:

In a busy work environment, it’s easy to lose track of time and neglect pumping sessions. To ensure you maintain a consistent pumping routine, schedule these sessions on your calendar as appointments. Treat these sessions as non-negotiable, just like any other work commitment. Setting reminders will not only help you adhere to your breastfeeding schedule but also serve as a signal to others that you are unavailable during those times. You can also share the calendar invite with your co-workers so they know not to disturb you.


Create an Album of Pictures/Videos of Your Little One:

Returning to work after spending quality time with your little one can be emotionally challenging. Combat homesickness and feelings of separation by creating an album of pictures and videos of your baby. During your pumping sessions, take a moment to look through this album or watch short videos of your little one. This can be a comforting and uplifting way to stay connected with your child and serve as a reminder of the beautiful moments waiting for you when you return home. Not only is it comforting, but it also helps trigger your letdown!


Use Pump Part Wipes and/or The Fridge Method for In-Between Sessions

Pump Part Wipes are convenient and practical disposable wipes specially designed for breast pump accessories. They offer a quick and efficient way to clean breast pump parts when you don’t have access to soap and water. These wipes effectively remove breast milk residue, dirt, and bacteria, ensuring a hygienic pump for the next use. 

The Fridge Method, on the other hand, is a temporary storage technique for breast pump parts between pumping sessions. Instead of washing the pump parts every time, you can place them in a clean, sealed container or a resealable bag and store them in the refrigerator between uses. This method is particularly useful when you need to pump multiple times in a day and allows you to avoid washing after each session. However, it’s essential to note that the Fridge Method is best used for a single day only, and the pump parts should be thoroughly washed and sanitized at the end of the day.


Use System Like Kiinde or CeresChill for Storage and Washing Ease

Kiinde and Ceres Chill are innovative systems designed to offer convenience and ease when it comes to storing and washing breast milk containers and accessories. These systems aim to streamline the process of pumping, storing, and feeding breast milk, making it hassle-free for busy parents. With Kiinde, you can pump breast milk directly into their specially designed bags, eliminating the need for transferring milk between containers. Additionally, their twist-locking system ensures a secure seal, preventing leaks and spills. On the other hand, Ceres Chill offers a compact and efficient way to store breast milk. Its modular design allows for easy organization and space-saving in the freezer or refrigerator. Both systems can also be cleaned quickly, either by hand or using a dishwasher, saving valuable time for parents. Ultimately, Kiinde and Ceres Chill provide an excellent solution for simplified and efficient breast milk management, making the entire process more seamless for working moms.


Balancing the demands of work and breastfeeding can be daunting for new moms, but with the right preparation and mindset, it is undoubtedly achievable. Knowing your legal rights, being prepared with a second set of pump parts and extra clothes, scheduling pumping sessions, and keeping an album of pictures/videos of your little one are five essential tips that can help you successfully navigate the journey of being a breastfeeding mom returning to work. Remember, you’re not alone, and there is support available from your workplace and various breastfeeding communities. Embrace this new chapter with confidence and pride, as you continue to provide the best for both your career and your precious little one!