I am very proud to say I am a breastfeeding momma while working full time. After three kiddos, nursing while working is old hat, but it took some getting used to at first. Some ask how do you do it and what do I need?
First things first, breastfeeding has to be a priority or you will give up. I knew I wanted to breastfeed for the health of my baby but also for our budget. We didn't qualify for any food assistance and money was tight to be able to afford formula.
Second, make arrangements with your employer. By workplace laws, the vast majority of employers are legally responsible for providing a place and time to express milk. This place should not just be a bathroom stall or janitor's closet... it needs to be sanitary and preferably private. It may be an inconvenience for your employer, but in the long run it's beneficial, as you and your baby will be healthier for it.
Third, be prepared. By this I mean there are certain products you will want to invest in to make breastfeeding more efficient and successful. So here's a working mom's run down of what you will need:
1. Breast Pump... If you are away from baby for more than one feeding per day, do not go stingy on this as it will really make a difference to have a strong pump. Medela and Ameda have the reputation for being the best of the best in this category. If you are going to be away only for one feeding or less than every day, a mid-grade pump will do fine and save some cash.
2. Baby Bottles... baby has to eat some how so you will need to invest in some bottles. Really this is up to parent preference, but my experience has been that wide neck bottles better facilitate breastfeeding. It is suggested to start with a small amount first as you don't know if baby is going to actually take the bottle you select. You can always take back unused/unopened bottles if need be.
3. Milk storage... Once you have the milk expressed, you need to store it somewhere. There are reusable storage systems that work directly with breast pumps. The other option is to invest in milk storage bags. Upon doing comparisons, I have found my preference to be the Lansinoh milk storage bags. Though these are more costly than the reusable option, it does save you from washing bottles to make sure you have enough for storage. These are also a better solution if you are going to freeze your milk. If your pump doesn't come with a cooler you will want to make sure to have one of those as well to transport your cargo back home.
4. Nursing Pads... Every nursing mom NEEDS to have some nursing pads to save from leaks and nipple show. Your choices are between washable and disposable. For washables, you will want to invest in some good quality pads. These are more economical and better for the environment. One drawback is they are bulkier and may show through clothing more. With disposables nursing pads, again do not get fooled by inexpensive pads as you get what you pay for in this area. After trying a vast majority of pad out there my favorites by far come from Lansinoh.
There are also many other items marketed toward breastfeeding moms that are great, but may or may not be a necessity for you. Lanolin cream and compresses may also be soothing after a day of feeding the mechanical baby.