Mindful Motherhood: Practical Tools For Balancing Work and Breastfeeding
Are you worried that balancing work and breastfeeding will be too challenging? Don't fret, because it is indeed possible to successfully navigate both worlds.
I believe the key lies in adopting effective strategies to help you manage your time and priorities, such as practicing mindful motherhood, incorporating time-management techniques, building a strong support system, and setting yourself up with the most efficient breastfeeding tools. Although it might always feel like an easy balance, with mindfulness and planning, you can confidently embrace the challenge of balancing work and breastfeeding.
Tips for Balancing Work and Breastfeeding
Finding the right work-life balance can be challenging, especially when you add breastfeeding into the mix, but with careful planning and support, it is definitely achievable. Here are my top breastfeeding tips for working moms to help you with balancing career and motherhood.
Practice Mindful Motherhood
Mindful motherhood is a parenting approach that emphasizes practices mindfulness and being fully present and intentional in the journey of motherhood. It's particularly relevant for working moms, offering a framework to navigate the challenges of balancing a career with motherhood.
In a professional context, it encourages intentional decision-making about work commitments, scheduling, and priorities, aligning actions with values for a harmonious balance. It also highlights self-compassion, acceptance of both positive and challenging aspects of motherhood, and adopting mindful practices like breaks for relaxation.
Establishing clear boundaries between work and family time is crucial, allowing working moms to engage fully in professional duties while staying emotionally present for their children during transitions to home life. It's a holistic approach supporting working moms in navigating dual roles with intentionality and balance.
Create a Flexible Schedule
Work with your employer to establish a flexible schedule that allows you to take breaks for breastfeeding or pumping. Whilst this will look different for each mom and workplace, initiating an open conversation with your employer can pave the way for tailored solutions, such as incorporating designated breaks for breastfeeding or pumping.
I’d also recommend exploring the possibility of adjusting your work hours or, if feasible, embrace a flexible work-from-home arrangement. This collaborative approach not only supports your commitment to breastfeeding but also demonstrates the importance of work-life integration.
Plan Your Pumping/Breastfeeding Sessions
By scheduling regular pumping or breastfeeding sessions throughout the day, you not only prioritize your baby's nourishment but also contribute to the consistent maintenance of your milk supply, an essential aspect of breastfeeding. I find having a set schedule also allows for you to plan your work around your pumping/breastfeeding sessions, which helps to create a better balance.
Seek out a comfortable and private space for your pumping endeavors. If you do not have a suitable space speak with your employer to see if one can be set up.
Invest in a Good Breast Pump
A high-quality breast pump can be a game-changer. I highly recommend opting for a wearable breast pump, like the Mommed S21 breast pump. Not only is this pump efficient to save time during pumping sessions, but it is also very discreet which can allow you to integrate your pumping sessions into your workday more easily.
Build a Support System
Openly share your breastfeeding schedule with colleagues, offering them insights into the importance of your breaks. This communication not only cultivates awareness but also establishes a supportive environment where colleagues can step in when needed, creating a collaborative atmosphere that acknowledges the significance of your dual roles.
Additionally, seek camaraderie with fellow breastfeeding or working moms within your workplace. This shared experience fosters a sense of community, enabling the exchange of valuable insights, advice, and encouragement. Together, you're not just navigating the intricacies of breastfeeding and work, but you're forging connections that contribute to a workplace culture that recognizes and supports the diverse journeys of working mothers.
Prepare in Advance
Simplify your mornings by packing your pumping supplies, including bottles and breast milk storage bags, the night before work. If possible, keep an extra set of supplies at your workplace for added convenience. This quick and organized approach not only saves time but ensures you're well-equipped for efficient pumping sessions during the day, no matter what your morning throws at you.
Stay Hydrated and Well-Nourished
I know firsthand how much breastfeeding can drain your body. So, make sure you are sustaining your well-being as a breastfeeding working mom by prioritizing hydration and nourishment. To make this easier, consider keeping a stash of nutritious snacks readily available at your workspace and even meal prepping your lunches on the weekend. I also like to have a large drink bottle at my workspace to encourage me to stay hydrated.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
Smartphones are a fantastic tool for working moms. You can use it for apps or alarms to remind you of pumping sessions or store breastfeeding-related information, such as pumping times and amounts, using apps to help you stay organized.
I also think they are great for practising mindful motherhood and connecting with your child even when you are at work. You can connect your smartphone to your baby monitor to check in even when they are sleeping or use it to make a video call, both making you feel more connected, even while you are not there.
Be Flexible and Patient
Probably one of the most, if not most, important tips I have is to recognize that some days may be more challenging than others. It’s important to be kind to yourself and practice patience when trying to navigate the delicate balance between work and breastfeeding.
There will be days when you might need to be flexible and adapt your routine, and days when you just go with the flow. By recognizing the ebb and flow of demands, and maintaining a patient and flexible approach, you empower yourself to navigate the intricate dance between the demands of work and the needs of breastfeeding, promoting a resilient and balanced daily experience.
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