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If you’re a mother going back to work you probably need to start thinking about what clothes you can wear to easily pump milk for your baby. While it is likely that you have some clothes in your closet that you can wear to work and pump milk in, it is a good idea to see what is in your wardrobe before going back to work!
Two-piece outfits that coordinate a top and bottom are the most useful for pumping milk. Skirt or slacks with a button down blouse or top that you can easily pull up work well. If your work place is more casual, jeans or a skirt with a pullover top are an alternative. For more formal workplaces, you can wear business suits. A matching skirt and top together can also achieve the look of wearing a dress. Dresses that button or zip all the way down the front may also work for pumping, but usually are not as easy to manage.
It is useful to pair a button-down sweater or a jacket with the outfit; some mothers like to wear them or have it over their shoulders while they are pumping so they don’t get too cold or so they feel more comfortable wearing it for more coverage. Jackets and sweaters are also helpful to hide a top that may be wet from leaking milk. Moms should bring extra bra pads to work in the event of milk suddenly leaking from the breast. Moms who tend to leak a lot should also bring an extra top in case of accidents.
It is helpful to coordinate a few outfits and have the pieces together ready to wear ahead of time. It is usually hectic for a mother trying to get ready in the morning with the baby, so it is handy to be able to grab an outfit to dress quickly. Or, as you are about to go out the door, and your baby decides to spit up on your blouse! Having another outfit already planned and put together allows for a quick change.
Nursing tanks are a staple.
Every mom should own a couple nursing tanks because they are comfortable, convenient, and make breastfeeding and pumping easier. Wearing a nursing tank under your shirt or blouse gives you extra coverage and can help absorb leaking milk in case of an emergency. Healthy Horizons has a diverse selection of nursing tanks brands: Bravado, Momzelle, Cake Lingerie, and Glamour Mom.
A nursing bra that you can easily pump in is essential to making it easy to pump at work. Bras where one can remove the front panel from the shoulder strap or unsnap from the middle give easy access to the pump. A hands-free bustier can be used with these bras so you can read, eat, or use the computer while pumping. For a mother who pumps everyday, it is helpful to have 2-3 hands-free bras so you can have a clean one available in case the one you’re using gets a milk spill. There are also bras that are a combination of a nursing bra and hands-free pumping bra. These bras have an opening for the pump flange so a hands-free bustier is not necessary. Mothers with bigger breast sizes or those who pump larger quantities of milk may find this type of bra more useful than the bustier as a hands-free bra since the bra gets support from the shoulder straps to hold up the flanges and bottles.
Nursing bra pads, also called breastfeeding pads, help prevent embarrassing leaks on
your shirt. You do not want to be discussing your next project with your manager or giving a presentation when the front of your blouse suddenly shows wet spots! Even if you don’t leak much, it may be a good idea to slip pads into your for extra insurance. It is also a good idea to have extras with you just in case leaks happen. They are discreet and you can easily keep them in your purse to have on hand. It is a matter of personal preference to choose between disposable or reusable pads. Disposable pads are individually wrapped so are easy to grab a few and have on hand for emergencies. Reusable pads are generally more comfortable because they are softer and breathe better. Many women find a combination of the two works best for them. For example, someone who doesn’t leak much may wear reusable pads daily, but keep a box of disposables on hand. Since reusable pads are soft, some women wear them daily not only to prevent leaks, but also as matter of comfort! Healthy Horizons carries a selection of the most popular disposable and reusable pads, including the Lansinoh line of disposable pads and the reusable Bamboonies pads. Healthy Horizons also carries the Healthy Horizons Shapely Lace Bra Pads, which are soft, comfortable, and very absorbent. An extra benefit of these pads is they give a more natural shape to the breast so they are popular with many moms!
With a little planning, mothers going back to work can dress for business and style while also making their outfits practical and easy for pumping! Visit a Healthy Horizons Center to start getting ready for your return!