Working from home is a dream for many employees. It offers flexibility, helps reduce commute times, and allows you to be there for your kids or other family members when they need you. But working from home can also present its challenges, especially if you’re also breastfeeding.
Working from home as a new mom can be isolating, stressful, and challenging—especially if you are breastfeeding. You may have to find a private space to pump every few hours and worry about the cleanliness of your workspace, the noise level in your house, hot water availability, and more. Working from home as a new parent can be tough for anyone.
Here are the tips that will make life as a home-bound mama easier:
Make a breastfeeding workspace.
You don’t have to create a whole room for breastfeeding, but you do need a private space to pump in that is sanitary and clean. If you are lucky enough to have a separate office space, that will be your best bet. If not, try to pick a room that is not too noisy, where you can close the door and be as undisturbed as possible. If your office or home has a break room or other communal space, find out if it is appropriate to use that space for pumping.
Try to schedule your work hours around your pumping schedule. If you can, pump before work and/or while your children are in school. If that’s not an option, try to pump during times when other people in your household are likely to be quiet and less likely to interrupt you. You may have to get creative with your schedule, but it will make your life so much easier.
Leave the house to pump, if possible.
This one will depend on your circumstances and your job. If you can find a place in public that is both comfortable and sanitary to pump, you will be so much better off. If you can’t leave the house, that is absolutely fine but it might be worth looking into breastfeeding rooms in your area and also seeing if there are any local breastfeeding support groups you can join. You may find some extra support and camaraderie with others who are in a similar situation.
You may also be able to find a lactation consultant in your area who can help you with troubleshooting if you run into breastfeeding problems. If you are able to go to a public place to pump, you’ll have more privacy, a clean and sanitary environment, and a break from the noise of your house. If you go to a coffee shop, library, or other public places, you may want to bring a small blanket or some sort of sound-muting cover with you so that you can make sure your privacy is maintained.
Be prepared for isolation and loneliness.
Working from home can be isolating for anyone, but when you are breastfeeding, you may feel lonelier than ever. Breastfeeding can be very demanding on your time and energy, and you may have to be alone while your children are at school or in childcare. You may have a co-worker or two around, but they likely won’t be around during the times when you are producing the most milk and need to pump.
Try to make an effort to get out of the house and socialize with friends and family whenever possible. You can also try to find breastfeeding groups or online forums where you can connect with other breastfeeding mothers. You may find that you have more in common with other mamas than you realize, and you will likely find that you can share stories, advice, and tips with others who are in your situation and understand your struggles.
Stay organized and be intentional with your time.
As a new parent, your days are probably full of a lot of chaos and disorganization. Working from home does not need to be any different. However, you can take steps to stay a bit more organized and intentional with your time. If you can, try to schedule your pumping times and other breastfeeding-related activities in between your actual work hours. Making a schedule and keeping track of your time will also help you to be more efficient and intentional with your work.
One helpful tool is the Google Calendar, where you can schedule your work hours and pumping times and see your day all in one place. Working from home means that you’re in charge of your schedule and workload. You can set up your day in a way that works best for you and your family. You’ll have to be organized and make good use of your time, but the benefits of working from home are worth it.
Don’t forget to eat!
Working from home is challenging enough as it is, but when you are breastfeeding, it can also be very tiring and energy-sapping. Breastfeeding burns a ton of calories and can make you very hungry. Make sure you are eating enough and eating often. Make sure to keep healthy snacks and easy, quick-to-make meals and snacks on hand for when you are feeling low on energy or hungry. You may have a few more challenges working from home as a breastfeeding mom, but the benefits of being able to stay home for your children and be more available for them is priceless.
Utilize technology to help out.
While you will want to be intentional and organized with your time, you will also want to make sure you are not working so hard and long each day that you are not with your children when you need to be. If you find that you are struggling, try to use technology to your advantage.
- You may be able to find a virtual assistant or hire a remote employee to help lighten your load. Be sure to check with your insurance company to confirm whether or not you are covered.
- Utilize online websites and software that can help you work more efficiently and make sure you are not spending too much time on any one task.
- Use online calendars to keep track of what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and by whom.
- Try to find ways to outsource tasks that can be done remotely, like data entry or other information-oriented tasks.
Working from home as a breastfeeding mother can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With the right preparations, support, and intentions, you can make working from home work for you and your family. With these tips, you can make working from home easier and more efficient for you and your family.