10 Easy Fixes for Pumping at Work

More pumping problems solved

"My day's a whirlwind, and I sometimes forget to pump."
The Fix:
Block out pumping sessions in your office calendar (mark it "personal"). Plan to pump when you would nurse if you were with Baby, suggests Nancy Hurst, Ph.D., R.N., director of Women's Support Services at Texas Children's Pavilion for Women, in Houston. That might be every three hours if your babe is younger than 6 months (10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 4 p.m.), twice during a workday for babies 6 to 10 months (11 a.m. and 3 p.m.), and once midday after that.

"Cleaning the parts is weird."
The Fix:
Carry a surplus of supplies. "I bring three sets of pump parts to the office -- one for each session -- and take them home to wash them," says Holly Hosler, a Baltimore mom. Or sanitize them discreetly during the day. Jennifer Seyler, a mom in Chicago, quickly cleaned parts at her desk after her morning session with disinfectant wipes made for pump accessories. After her second pump, she rinsed the parts in the kitchen and sterilized them in a micro-steam bag.

"It's so hard to relax at work."
The Fix:
Your body triggers the release of milk, known as letdown, in response to the sound and feel of your baby's sucking, so it may be difficult at first to cozy up to a pump. Eventually, though, women who pump do experience the letdown response from the machine's whirring sound and feel, Hurst says. Give your body time to get used to responding to it. To encourage production, you might try looking at cute photos or watching videos of your cooing baby on your phone while you pump. If channeling those smiles causes you to miss your baby or worry about how much milk you're making, change your approach. One mom told Hurst that her best trick for a quick letdown was to imagine money falling from the sky. Jen Jamar, a mom in Robbinsdale, Minnesota, found she had an easier time expressing milk if she spent her session catching up on Facebook or Twitter, or flipping through a favorite magazine. "Make pumping your time," Jamar suggests.

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