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For most mothers the easiest and most efficient way to feed your baby breast milk is usually at the breast, but there may be occasions when this is not possible and you need to express your milk. If you’re returning to work soon, here are tips for pumping and storing your milk at work:

Nurse at Lunchtime
Nursing is the best way to keep stimulating your breasts to produce milk. It also can help you to feel close to your baby while you’re away from her. If your child care is close to your office, stop by on your lunch break to nurse your baby.

Where and When to Pump
When and where you pump depends largely on your work setup. Some companies provide a lactation room for nursing mothers, but if there isn’t any where you work, ask the HR manager or office manager for suggestions.

It could be an unused office or conference room, or even a clean storeroom with a chair, table and a power socket for your pump, if you need one. It should be a space where you won’t be overlooked, with a lockable door.

If you have a private office, you can simply close the door to pump. This is the easiest scenario for fitting in three or four sessions in a day.

Pumping once or twice a day is probably realistic, but it’s up to you how often you express. Try to do it at the same time every day.

How to Store Milk at Work

You should store it in clean bottles with screw caps, hard plastic cups that have tight caps, or nursing bags (pre-sterilised bags meant for breast milk). It’s helpful to put a label on each with your baby’s name and the date indicating when the milk was pumped.

Store your milk in single-serving portions. If you plan to freeze the milk, don’t forget to leave some space at the top of the container because milk expands as it freezes.

Make sure you place your milk in the middle of the fridge compartment. Don’t put it on the door, and make sure it’s far enough inside to avoid normal temperature changes caused by opening and closing of the refrigerator door.

Bring it home in a small cool bag or cool box lined with frozen ice packs if your journey is longer than 30 minutes. Freshly expressed milk is fine at room temperature (no warmer than 25 degree Celsius) for hours.

Image Credit: DeaPeaJay