Breastfeeding and pumping is a very personal decision. Deciding how long and whether you’ll be nursing or pumping or both is a decision only you can make. This act of nourishing your baby can be very rewarding, but simplifying the process will make it a more enjoyable experience. (pictured above: Sarah Franklin with her newborn in the nursery, her favorite spot in the house to pump.)
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 84.1% of infants receive some breast milk. By the six month mark, 58.3% of infants are still nursing, while only 25.6% are exclusively breastfed. At the one year mark, 35.3% of infants are still breastfeeding. Non-Hispanic Black infants have lower breastfeeding rates than Asian, White, and Hispanic infants. Mothers aged 20-29 years old are also less likely to breastfeed than mothers who are 30 years old and above.
Whether you breastfeed for a week or a year, there are many benefits for both of you. Sometimes this means nursing your baby and sometimes it may involve using a breast pump to express milk. Having the right set up, products and mindset are important to making it enjoyable for both baby and mom.
Pumping and Breastfeeding At Home
Finding a comfortable spot will make pumping and breastfeeding more enjoyable. Some mamas like to use a rocking chair for nursing and a recliner for pumping as an opportunity to get off those feet! Finding a place where you can relax and have some downtime will provide a much needed break from the demands of early motherhood.
New mother Sarah Franklin stated, “I like to set up a spot in my house that I pump in each time so I can keep everything I need plugged in and ready. Having a specific pumping bra that holds the pump in place is a huge help because it lets you be hands-free.”
Pumping and Breastfeeding On the Go
When you must pump in public, being prepared can help ease the burden. Pack a cooler to store pumped milk if you don’t have access to a refrigerator. If possible, choosing a pump that has
an option to pump directly into storage bags will save time and energy cleaning extra bottles. A high-end breast pump such as the Willow allows for hands-free pumping on the go and fits inside the bra.
When breastfeeding on the go, you will want a set-up where you feel comfortable and not exposed. Nursing shirts limit the amount of exposure necessary to allow the baby to latch, providing a more discrete experience. Many nursing mothers also like the privacy of a lightweight nursing poncho, such as those sold by Milkmaid Goods. These allow the mother to be completely covered while baby nurses under a lightweight cover.
Keep it Clean
Breast pumps have many parts that require routine cleaning. Franklin recommends “refrigerating pump parts for 24 hours if you’re having to pump a lot throughout the day. Otherwise, there are a lot of parts to clean constantly! This also helps for being on the go if you can keep parts in a refrigerator or cooler.” With all the bottles and other baby supplies you are washing, limiting the pump part washing to once daily can be a huge time saver. Be sure to keep the parts clean to provide the safest quality milk for your baby.
Florida Statute 383.015 states that mothers have the right to breastfeed in any public or private area that they are legally allowed to be. Breastfeeding mothers are exempt from public indecency laws.
Section 7(r) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that employers allow breastfeeding mothers reasonable breaks to pump while at work. They must also allow for a private area, free from intrusion. This lactation accommodation cannot be a bathroom. This law covers the breastfeeding mother for one year.
Photo by Ariel Rose Photography