In my dreams, all parents have access to a flexible work environment and high quality childcare. The moms take a leisurely maternity leave to bond and establish a good breastfeeding relationship. They go back on their own terms and are more productive for having flexible hours, telecommuting options, on-site childcare, and luxurious pumping rooms.
And then I wake up.
In the meantime, there are organizations and companies that make it a whole lot easier to be a working mother with a nursling.
|Breastpump: Medela has topped the list of recommendations I received from friends and professionals. I like that all parts that touch the milk are BPA-free and Phthalate Free. Nursing Mother Supplies has a great rundown of the features available with the various Medela Breastpumps. My breastpump of choice is the Medela Freestyle Breastpump ($350). Some mothers find they are successful with a simple hand pump but personally I prefer an electric double pump. This pump is lightweight (under one pound), portable, hands-free, programmable, and efficient.|
|Nursing Camisole/Tank: Whether I’m pumping or breastfeeding out in public, I prefer to keep my stomach covered. Nursing camisoles are comfortable and fashionable and also give you a smooth line. If you are looking for a great deal, Gilligan & O’Malley Nursing Tanks are only $17. The Glamourmom Nursing Tank ($30-35) is available in a wide variety of beautiful colors and patterns. Or, if you want to treat yourself, the Yummie Tummie Long Length Nursing Shapewear Tank ($82) will shape as well as cover your belly.|
|Bottles and Bags: Compatibility with your pump is the key here. Since I have a Medela pump, I go with Medela bottles and breast milk storage bags. All of Medela’s products that come into contact with breastmilk are and always have been BPA-free and Phthalate-free, so no worries there. To be extra safe, I like to use their glass bottles at home, which are also compatible with most of their pumps (though it is not intended for use with the Freestyle). For you, dear readers, I dropped one of the bottles on my hard wood floors and it survived perfectly intact.
And if you find yourself needing to sterilize away from home, the Medela Quick Clean Micro-Steam Bags are a real time-saver.
|Books and Websites: Although it is a general resource, we like the friendly straight talk of Mama Knows Breast: A Beginner’s Guide to Breastfeeding ($15).
Pumping moms experiencing supply problems will find tips in The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk ($13).
You’ll also find expert answers, mama gurus, and forums on these websites:
What are your must-have recommendations and tips for pumping moms?
Disclosure: Debbie, one of our editors, was sponsored by Medela for BlogHer ’09.