Pump on the go like a pro

Your maternity leave is coming to an end and you're on to the next chapter of going back to work*. It can be stressful to think about how you will keep up breastfeeding once you've returned to the office. The key to success is to have a plan and a pumping schedule. (We will talk about "the stash" required for this later. Hint: Its not as much as you think!)

Do you have at least a 20 minute commute to work?

This is an excellent time to multi-task and pump while on the go. Scheduling pumping sessions during your commute minimizes the time you need to spend pumping at the office. But it can be intimidating to think about pumping in the car and the logistics of it. I'm going to break it down for you so you can feel comfortable pumping in the car.

Investing in a hands-free pumping bra is a must. I recommend the Brauxiliary Band (also part of the My Baby Experts Birth Boutique) to avoid having to get naked in the car. Your bra should offer good support to keep the flanges snugly in place while driving. If you're concerned about modesty, a large scarf or nursing cover works great – just toss it on and away you go.

Always get set up and start pumping BEFORE you start driving. Have your pump within reach on the front passenger seat or hung around your neck (Baby Buddha) as you don't want any sudden stops to send your pump flying! Once everything is hooked up and lined up, turn your pump on and start pumping before you back out of the driveway. Being distracted by the alignment of your nipple in a flange is just as bad as texting. Safety first!

Since you have been pumping for a while at this point, you know what your typical output is during a pumping session. If you produce a lot of milk each session, it may be ideal to use larger collection bottles. Hitting any bumps in the road will cause milk to slosh around, and a full bottle means spillage.

After 15-30 minutes, as everyone is different, you can just turn off the pump and continue to your destination. If you are stopped at a red light, you can unhook from your pump if you want, but it isn't necessary. You can do this safely once you arrive to work.

Depending on the type of pump you have, it is best to get a car adapter for your power supply. This way you aren't draining batteries.

Options like the Freemie or the wearable Willow pump are game-changing options for pumping on the go if being more discreet is needed (read: travelling with the boss), but your traditional pump will work just as well for most days.

Always keep a towel handy for cleanup, as well as a spare bra and shirt in case you do spill.

It's also a good idea to have a backup pump in case your regular pump decides to crap out. I'm a fan of the Medela Harmony and the Evenflo Advanced Manual. Be sure to stash one of those or some extra pump parts at the office as well. Trust me - one day you will forget something.

Cap the bottles or bags (if you're using the Kiinde system) and toss in your cooler bag once you have arrived at work.

Pumping during your commute gives you more time to focus on your job and is one less thing to worry about during your workday.

What pumping solutions do you put to use when the

MAMMaries have to be AWAY?

*While it doesn't require going back to work to use these tips, it's definitely something I recommend for those that to have a daily commute away from kiddo.