In this post I will share a breast milk pumping hack that is great for mamas on the go, or as in my case, mamas in the service industry.
Are you a new mama working in the service industry? Well, this post is for you!
It’s also for all of you mamas who are out and about, on the go, and cannot seem to fit pumping into your daily schedule.
Yet, you are adamant about giving your baby the nutrients they need.
Furthermore, you might be the first time, or second (or third or fifth) time mama who is at home with a newborn trying to juggle taking care of a newborn and pumping at the same time.
This breast milk pumping hack might work for you as well!
Keep reading to see what this breast milk pumping hack is, and don’t forget to drop me a message in the comments below letting me know if this hack worked for you!
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Before I share this breast milk pumping hack with you, here is some info about me!
I have worked in the restaurant industry part-time now for over ten years. It is not my dream job, but it pays the bills a lot better than other part-time jobs.
The schedule flexibility has allowed me to sustain my lifestyle the past couple of years as an undergrad student, grad student, and now as a mother.
I love being able to go into work 15 hours a week, make some money, and get much needed away time from mom life, all while being able to spend most of my time with Lennox.
However, one drawback of working in the restaurant industry as a new mother was maintaining my breastmilk supply, which was already very low.
Each shift was about 6-8 hours long. There was no break given to pump, not because I wasn’t allowed, but because I was always tending to tables. Unless I wanted to clue them in that I was going to disappear for a half-an-hour to pump, there was no slipping away.
Although, I could have also asked management not to assign me tables, but then I would be losing out on my chance to make money.
Lastly, there was no designated area to pump. There is a little coat/host closet that I could have pumped in, but it sure wasn’t private. So, unless I wanted to make the 18-year-old hosts, and guests leaving their coats in the closets uncomfortable, that wasn’t an option.
It was a very unfortunate situation, and I almost let my milk supply slip away over it. That’s when a genius thought came to me.
Here is my breast milk pumping hack
One day I went to relieve my bladder during a down period of my rotation of tables. I felt my breasts, and they were so engorged, and that’s when I decided that next shift, I was going to bring my Haaka into work, along with my Medela hand pump, and pump in the bathroom.
Now, before you judge, I work in a restaurant with very clean, spacious bathroom. Therefore, I decided that I felt most comfortable pumping in the family restroom. My managers gave me the go-ahead to use the host/coat closet. However, I felt more relaxed and had more room using the family bathroom. There is a private sink and vanity where I could comfortably set up.
With that being said, I would never ever do this hack in an unsanitary place. So, if you work in the restaurant industry and do not have a sanitary place to do this, I would just avoid pumping at all. It’s not worth risking your baby’s health to sustain a milk supply.
If you do have a designated room or area where you can sanitarily pump, then this quick hack might work for you.
To begin, since I was limited in time to pump— five-ten minutes in between the rushes— I would take my breast pump bag to the family bathroom with me.
What was in my pumping bag:
- My Medela Hand Pump
- My Haaka Manual Breast Pump
- Storage Bags
- Ice Packs
- Hand Sanitizer
- Receiving blanket/towel
Here is my breast milk pumping hack
First, I would take a paper towel and with the hand sanitizer, sanitize the vanity’s surface.
Then, I would put my receiving blanket/towel on the vanity to add extra protection for my storage bags.
Next, I would wash my hands.
Then, I would lift up my shirt and attach my Haaka to one side of my breast. On the other breast, I would get a good suction with my My Medela Hand Pump.
Then, I would pump at it for 5-10 minutes. (I used my hand pump because it was quicker to get ready and also there was no outlet in the bathroom. Also I felt like I always expressed more milk with my hand pump versus my electronic pump.) You will be amazed at how much let down your Haaka will catch.
After about 10 minutes or so, I would conclude pumping and combine my breastmilk from my hand pump, and manual pump into a storage bag, and put them in my pumping bag with the ice packs.
I would then clean up and store my bag in a safe area. We have lockers, so I would keep mine there. Nobody was going to get their hands on my liquid gold!
I would try to do it twice throughout my shift, the second time alternating breasts. I might not have gotten a full pumping session worth of milk, but at least I was getting a solid five ounces. At the same time, I was communicating with my breasts to let them know to keep producing during my night shifts.
Some of you reading this post might think that I am crazy, and yes, I am crazy. I will go to the ends of the earth and back to make sure my family gets the best of the best. Even if that means pumping in between serving my tables, and in a bathroom, then I will.
I know I am not the only mama that works in an industry where it is impossible to pump. If you are one of those mamas, please share any pumping techniques that you have used. I would absolutely love to hear them. And for all of you Judgy Jessicas, if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say it at all!!
Thank you, and I really hope this hack helps for you service industry ladies. Life is crazy in the industry, especially as a mama, so I hope to help as much as I can!
Katie @ Teacher and the Tots
Sunday 10th of November 2019
Such great tips, thanks for sharing! I definitely did some bathroom pumping in the staff bathrooms when I was still teaching out of necessity. Workplaces need more pumping options!
Saturday 9th of November 2019
There’s no judging here mama, we gotta do what we gotta do. When I tried working after our little was born, I was a Chiropractic Assistant. I had to use an empty patient room to pump every few hours or in my car on my way to work.
Saturday 9th of November 2019
I love this! And I am sure a lot of moms need this. I will have to pin this to my pumping board.
Friday 8th of November 2019
Great hack to use the haaka and hand pump. I'm out running errands often and don't make it back in time and will try this! I've definitely used those nicer bathrooms to nurse. It's private, spacious and I can't help but think maybe the designers had that in mind as one of the use cases!