There were so many articles, advice, and opinions about being a working mom that I read before our son was born. I spent the first two months of his life worrying about many things, among those were how I was going to continue to breastfeed once I returned to work. I had so many concerns. My job doesn’t leave time for a 25 min pumping session every three hours. The office has cameras and a window in the door. A large bag that contained an electric pump was the last thing I wanted to pack up everyday and haul with me. I was so worried it wouldn’t work. At the same time I was struggling with breastfeeding at home. For the first latch, he was great at feeding. I however struggled with the lengthy and frequent feedings. No bleeding nipples, just an over tired mom who didn’t see why she couldn’t just pump then bottle feed her child so she could actually see his face once in a while. So that is what I did for 80% of his feedings the majority of my maternity leave. I felt no connection, no convenience, just frustration every time I nursed. My milk supply was so overwhelming I would have to change my shirt several times a day. I froze three Gallon size bags of excess milk the first month and a half.
When to returned to work, everything changed. Suddenly I didn’t mind nursing as much. He was eating more and less often. He even began sleeping 5 hr segments at night. His feedings didn’t take as long every time, and he had a better handle on nursing as well. I didn’t need to guide him to the nipple or hold his head in place any more. It was actually easier rather than harder. All that worry for nothing. He took bottles like a champ, but also loved nursing. There was absolutely no nipple confusion (which I believe isn’t completely a real thing). As for pumping at work, I found what worked for me. I had it down packed by the end of week one. It honestly isn’t too difficult, and now it’s just part of my routine. (although there are days I wish I didn’t have to spend my down time pumping). I work at restaurant as a manger. Like I said, our office has a window and a camera, it is out of the question. There is no back or side room, so I pump in the handicap stall of the women’s restroom. You’re probably thinking of how gross and inhuman that is, but it is not as bad as you think. Our restrooms are quite clean. I use the baby changing station to lay my small bag on. I place paper towels down first.I use a Hand pump. It takes me about ten minutes total. I then put the milk back into the pump bags and put the whole thing on the bottle shelf in the fridge. It is the same pattern as my lunch bag(both from ThirtyOne).
I’m not sure how long we will continue to breastfeed, but for now it works for us. For all you over planner worry wort moms like me, there is hope. It might not be as difficult as you think. Best wishes as you do what’s right for you and your child.