BCB Mom: Lauren Lange Occupation: CPA Child’s Age: 17 months and one on the way!
BEFORE YOUR BABY IS BORN
– Call your insurance company. It is a part of plans now that they cover pumps, but they only cover certain ones and you have to buy from a medical supply company; you cannot pick one up at any store and have it reimbursed. At least this was my experience with both Blue Cross and United HealthCare.
– See where you will be pumping when you return to work. Do you have a refrigerator for storage, microwave for steam cleaning or a sink for hand washing?
– Find out the the pumping logistics at work: Does your pumping room have a schedule that you will need to sign up for because there may be many pumping moms or is it first come first serve?
– Read up on what your company will afford you in terms of break times to pump. Some companies will have you do it off the clock and others don’t.
BEFORE YOU RETURN TO WORK
– Start pumping. Each mom has their own theory of how much they should pump before they return to work, but you should start before you return so you have a little stash built up as well as to learn how your pump works.
– How many times a day do you want/need to pump? This is factored by how often your little one eats and how much you milk you get per session. This will help you in planning your pumping routine when you return to work.
– Determine the accessories you need. Do you want/need a hands free pumping bra, steam cleaning bags, cooler with ice pack for milk transport/storage, dish soap for cleaning, spare parts etc. There are endless accessories you can have but may not truly need. Although, I really recommend the hands-free pumping bra by simple wishes.
WHEN YOU RETURN TO WORK
– Schedule your pumping time in your calendar. This way people will (hopefully) not schedule meetings over time you have blocked to pump. Remember to build in time for set up and clean up.
– Try and relax while you pump! It may be easier said than done and some people find that looking at pictures of their little one helps with the process.
– Stick with it. It will seem like a daunting task to pump multiple times a day when returning to work because people forget about this aspect of returning to work. If you dont feel comfortable saying you are pumping, come up with a phrase you are comfortable saying to a co-worker or your boss like “I am going to the mother’s room” or something like that.
TRAVELING FOR WORK
– In my experience your pump and the bag do not count as a carry-on because they are a medical device and you can let the gate agent know when they ask about your three bags.
– If you bring a small cooler and an ice pack, the ice pack does need to be frozen solid otherwise it is considered a liquid and they *may* take it from you. The TSA isn’t completely consistent on this one.
– Most likely they will run a test on the milk, in the bag, and they should never ask you to open the bags for inspection or testing.
– You might want to take your battery out of your pump because it may get bumped and accidentally turn on, and it’s not a fun spot to arrive at your destination with a dead pump as not all bathrooms have an outlet at an airport.
This special series for working moms was made possible by LATCH by Munchkin, which eases the transition from breast to bottle and back. Breast is best, but working moms also will need a bottle so that their caregiver can feed their baby while they are gone. LATCH’s accordion nipple stretches like the breast to help baby latch correctly. ALL THIS WEEK YOU CAN ENTER TO WIN A LATCH FROM MUNCHKIN PRIZE PACKAGE HERE.