Pumping breast milk: A field report

Nora from the MomaSquad team shares how she returned to work after the birth of her daughter Sofia and how breastfeeding in the workplace has been in practice for her.

Even before my daughter Sofia was born in September, I had decided to return to my old job after two months of maternity leave. When the time came, everything went really smoothly. I was able to take the little one to work on my three half-days a week without any problems and the two of us were always a small attraction for our colleagues in the team. I could be near Sofia and still get my work done.

Before returning to work, I had often thought about what it would be like to breastfeed at work. Although I actually knew that it would be possible without any problems due to the premises and the attitude of my superiors, a small uncertainty remained. However, it quickly became apparent that any minor concerns were completely unfounded. Sofia didn’t mind the office atmosphere at all and drank calmly. And breastfeeding was also very relaxed for me, which may also be due to the fact that only women are sitting around me and I didn’t even have to get up to feed my little one.


expressing breast milk

When Sofia became more and more mobile and she got bored in the stroller, I left her with my in-laws during the day. Before that, we started teaching her to drink from the bottle together. I pumped milk regularly, which wasn’t a problem at home or in the office, and then bottle-fed it to the little one. It worked really well at first and she drank well and calmly. My breast pump, which is very quiet and therefore didn’t bother anyone at work, was particularly practical for me. In addition, I can only recommend every mother to buy a breast pump with milk containers like I did. Because that made it possible for me to always be able to put the pumped milk straight into the fridge.

Small hurdles don’t throw us off course

But then, from one day to the next, Sofia suddenly refused the bottle. Nothing could be done. She would rather not drink anything from 7:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. than take the bottle. The advantage of the whole situation was that I could stock up on my milk supply and we could freeze a few portions of breast milk for later.

However, this advantage was immediately negated by the fact that one evening my husband did not close the freezer compartment properly. Now we sat there without milk and the stress meant that during the time in the office I suddenly only pumped 40 ml instead of 180 ml. In the meantime, thanks to breastfeeding tea and a lot of confidence, everything is going well and thanks to the introduction of supplementary food, Sofia needs less milk.

All in all, I can say that I can easily combine breastfeeding with work. Of course there are sometimes stupid situations, for example if you forgot your breast pump and have to try to subtly convey to the male boss that you have to go home because you are under “pressure”. In order for the compatibility of breastfeeding and working to really work, the following things simply have to be in place:

  • You need a family to support you
  • A supervisor who understands
  • Colleagues who take it easy on breastfeeding in the office and even remind you of the pumped milk in the fridge
  • Of course, modern breastfeeding aids make it much easier for you to breastfeed at work

My appeal and that of the entire MomaSquad team therefore goes particularly to employers in Germany. Because it is only possible to combine family and work while breastfeeding if they understand and allow flexibility. The accommodation also creates loyalty among the mothers towards the company and guarantees the employer a secure and reliable workforce.

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