When I went back to work, there was the big question of how, logistically, I could still continue to breastfeed and still manage to:
(1) not take up too much work time
(2) not return home with stale / unclean milk
After much research plus trial and error, I finally got it (I think!) !
Frequency and Timing
I pump at least 2 times a day, depending whether I'm late for work that day or not (yes.. true story) or whether I can find time to pump a 3rd time.
Sometimes, I yield more by pumping just twice a day than thrice. I think it has got to do with the fact that my breasts has more time to produce milk. So the third pump is only really necessary when my first pump is less than ideal, which for me is less than 300ml both sides).
BUT if I get to work early, I'll definitely want to pump right after i settle down. Because the morning pumps are almost always very high yield.
And I always try to pump before lunch and not after because (I feel) it buys me an additional 1 hr's time to produce more milk for the evening pump.
When I first started pumping in the office I steamed my equipment after every pump. It took me anything from 15 to 30mins to do that each time and if I pumped 3 times a day for 15 minutes, plus about 5 mins to prepare materials for pumping, I would spend 2hours and 30mins each working day to do the milk business. Obviously, it's not going to be sustainable in the long run.
I learnt something that saved me a ton of time. And that is to store the pump equipment in the fridge after each pump. That way, there is no need to wash / sterilize each time! This was the turning point that helped me continue to pump milk in the office whilst holding a very demanding job.
So, I only need to wash and sterilize once at the end of the day before I go off.
Breastpump. Use a dual pump that can be operated by plugging in or by battery. Dual pump saves you precious time and portability give you the option of pumping anywhere (even in toilets, which I do).
You can get the Fridge2Go but they are very expensive at $70-$80. So what I did was to go to Daiso and get this insulated lunch bag as well as 6 ice packs (I only need 5 each time, 1 on standby).
They work as well as the fridge to go for $14 as compared to $70-$80.
I bought my First Choice (brand name) microwave steamer from Cold Storage for $7.80. This is for sterilizing your equipment, works just like a sterilizer.
I use jungle jungle milk bags bought from Fabulous Mom. We first got them for abt RM6plus for 100 during a sale. The usual price is about RM6plus for 50.
I have a number of bottles in circulation. I use Jungle Jungle bottles which were also bought by Daddy from Fabulous Mom.
Pump equipment container
Also procured from Daiso for $2. It is tall enough to hold my pump parts and wide enough to accommodate 2 milk bottles. I need this so that I can fit all of them into the fridge.
This was an old make up pouch I bought from Muji. An expensive one. The size looked sufficient to hold my pump + charger + spare battery + marker.
I tried to fit them in and hey hey...They all fit in!
Whilst this is not a necessity, I find it very useful to have everything in one place and not have to scramble to find each part of the breast pump before every pump. Chances are you'll forget something and have to go back for it. Going back to the office to get something I forgot is time wasting for me since I pump in the executive toilet.
I pump in the executive toilet out of no choice. Our meeting rooms have full length see through panels by the side and I ain't got no room to pump.
I just take extra care with cleanliness in handling the pump equipment and sanitizing my hand before handling equipment or milk and so far, there as been no problems with the quality of milk I bring home.
This is where the pump equipment container comes into use now. I make sure the lid is sterilized as well and use it to hold my precious equipment so that I don't need to touch any part of the toilet.