10 Easy Fixes for Pumping at Work

More pumping problems solved

Bottles in cooler

My day's such a whirlwind, I forget to pump.
The Fix: : Block out pumping sessions in your public office calendar (mark it "personal"). Pump when you would nurse if you were with Baby, suggests Nancy Hurst, Ph.D., R.N., a board-certified lactation consultant and 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 between 6 and 10 months, (11 A.M. and 3 P.M.) and once midday after that.

Cleaning pump accessories is weird at work.
The Fix: Carry a surplus of supplies. "I bring three sets of pump parts to the office -- one for each session -- and then I 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 with disinfectant wipes made for pump accessories after her morning session. 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 when I pump.
The Fix: Your body is used to triggering "letdown," the release of milk, 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 exclusively 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 look at photos or watch 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 tracks. 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 fave magazine. "Make pumping your time," Jamar suggests.

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