Being a mom is hard work. When you are a new mom, you have a lot going on. You are caring for a brand new baby that needs your constant care and support. It is your duty to bathe, nurture and nourish your child. For some mothers, this includes breast feeding your baby.

Emotions can be high as maternity leave comes to an end. Going back to work may mean leaving your baby in someone else’s care for an entire day for the first time. You have to navigate those feelings, as well as plan for all of your baby’s needs.

For breast feeding moms, this means plotting out how to pump at work.

As you plan to head back to work, make pumping a priority with these tips:

  • Talk to your employer. Some companies have specified ‘mother’s rooms’ already in place. Make sure your employer knows that you will be pumping and need space to do so.
  • Schedule pumping breaks into your calendar. Work can be demanding and stressful, especially if you’ve been out of the office on leave. You don’t want to get engorgement because you’ve been too distracted to pump. Planning breaks into your schedule can help. You may also consider discussing your schedule with your employer to make sure that you are on the same page.
  • Consider time-saving tools. You may consider carrying extra, sanitized pump parts so that you don’t have to worry about spending too much time cleaning. You can also look into sanitized wipes made for pumps.
  • Develop a routine. This might not work right away, but you can go into your first day of work with a routine in mind. Tweak the routine as you see fit. This can be a time saver and also help with keeping items clean and ready.
  • Know where you will store your pumped milk and keep your supplies. When you talk to your employer, make sure you know where you can keep your precious cargo. Having storage in place can prevent you from losing pumped-milk due to improper storage.

Know your rights as a working mother. In California all employers are encouraged to support breastfeeding mothers. You should have a clean, safe environment at work in which you can pump. Pumping at work for the first time can be stressful and tricky. It may take awhile to get comfortable. Don’t get discouraged.